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AT&T, Covisint, and Microsoft Launching eHealth Initiative

June 23, 2008
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San Antonio-based AT&T, Detroit-based Covisint, and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft today announced a nationwide eHealth exchange using Microsoft HealthVault to share information with all physicians and health care providers connected to AT&T Healthcare Community Online.

The new eHealth information exchange, enabled by Covisint’s On-Demand Healthcare Platform and layered on AT&T’s patented eHealth solutions and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network, shares information electronically and in a security-enhanced way across the continuum of care — from patient to provider communities such as HealthVault, health-information exchanges and insurers.

The new exchange platform brings together elements required to establish comprehensive interoperability and collaboration communities for national, state, and local health-information exchanges, enabling such applications as:

* Prescribing pharmaceuticals online

* Providing clinical messaging among health care providers

* Sharing high-density images, including X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans

* Exchanging patient-aggregated information via portable health records, which provides patient profiles, medical history, prescriptions, etc.

* Uploading of data from home health devices such as blood pressure meters, glucometers, etc., allowing for remote diagnostics and chronic disease monitoring and management

* A streamlined clinical and administrative process

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I agree with NHJPH. I had signed up for a few of the online "PHR" sites only to find that they were not intuitive, required me to give them more information than I wanted, and never allowed me to achieve my goal - to keep all of my medical records in one location, locally and allow me to take ownership of what's mine. I have the need to carry that data with me where ever I go and this was not an option. What's more is that several of these sites no longer exist. Show me a vendor who provides this value and is not constantly in my pocket for subscription fees...RSM

This is more of the same. It fails to address the everyday needs and values of the consumer and instead focuses on the 1% who might need MD2MD PHI exchange. Tethered, web based solutions have been in place for 10 years. This approach fails to empower the today's consumer any no more than they did 10 years ago.

The sponsors appear more concerned with new acronyms than with empowering the actual consumer with a consumer owned and possessed PHR. It is clearly an approach the supports the status quo where the provider is powerful and the consumer is a second thought. If ATT hopes to reduce healthcare costs, it has failed to empower their employees and employee families.

Remote availability of PHI is a dangerous illusion of increased safety. In an emergency, a web based PHR does little to help the employee or the family members of the employee. This is just more of the same, just bigger companies following the same path of tethered and remote PHI availability. How disappointing of a company like ATT.

The PHR will continue to languish as an underutilized resource until employers, insurers and providers recognize that adoption and ongoing use is dependent upon the consumer's perception of value. To achieve this, the PHR must avoid individual silo records, must deliver the software to the consumer and must be available on a potable device that the consumer can have with them at all times and must allow the consumer to store their data wherever they like. The current detachment of the PHI from local consumer control to require a web data store serves many organizations and stake-holders but leaves the consumer out of the loop again. jph

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