At age 25, i was diagnosed with a brain tumor in my brainstem. i was supposed to be dead by 27. i am still alive. this is my story. I am iPatchman!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Using DropBox as your Personal Health Record (PHR)
Much has been said about the amazing new uses one can find for their DropBox. From setting yourself free from the risk of losing your USB thumb drive and effortlessly syncing and backing up your photos, to “15 Awesome Dropbox Tips and Tricks,” DropBox has found many uses for the free 2GB of cloud storage.One new use that is emerging is that of a Personal Health Record, or PHR. The Obama administration is investing billions in electronic health records and many startup companies are hoping to get part of that stimulus by creating PHR and other electronic health records (HER) systems. Google, Microsoft and Dossia have emerged as leaders in the PHR/HER arena with their Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault. These tools synch with many other online health sites like Livestrong’s Calorie and workout tracker or your local pharmacy. However, you still have to spend the time scanning and uploading doctors’ notes and test results into your online account. Personally I feel that if I am already scanning all paper notes and test results into my computer, I want to have more direct and personal control over them. With DropBox I can easily place all PDF versions of my medical records into folders for each provider. The files sync automatically with DropBox and I can access them from any computer in the world as well as my iPhone (through the DropBox app). It is not 100% clear if storing your medical records in DropBox is HIPPA compliant. It looks like most of the requirements have been met but an argument can be made that one requirement is still missingis private keys, so that the DropBox team does not have access to the files if you need support. Either way, for personal use, one does not need to follow HIPPA, rather only if your provider wanted to use DropBox as your EHR might they run into problems. Still, this does not mean you cannot share your medical records with physicians, as it would be similar to using email to forward a note or test result. For now, and for lack of a better option, I find it very easy to use DropBox as my PHR and to have access to all my medical records on the go, and no matter where I go.
I am trying to see how many people actually view this blog, and how they got to it, why, and what they thought of it. So even if you do not know me in person, please feel free to leave a comment here and let me know what you thought. Thanks.
Akiva Zablocki is an Associate at the consulting Tower Watson in the Health & Group Benefits practice and a graduate of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with a Masters in the Healthcare Management. Akiva is on the Board of Directors of the Children’s’ Brain Tumor Foundation where he chairs the Young Professionals Volunteer Group (YPG) as well as the Board Technology Committee.
Akiva’s interest in health care comes from a personal experience with the healthcare system during the last three years. As a senior at Columbia, Akiva was diagnosed with a so called “inoperable” brain tumor in his brainstem. He consulted over thirty specialists while searching for a solution until he found a doctor in Arizona that was willing to take the risk involved with surgery. The operation was a great success but Akiva spent the next six months in rehabilitation. He now wants to make sure that others have the same ability to choose life as he did. Akiva graduated magna cum laude from Columbia in May 2007.