Technology in this modern age is constantly evolving, with new innovations within various fields transforming the ways in which we think and go about our modern-day lives. Technology has specifically enhanced our understanding of human health and medicine as a whole. One medical field particularly benefitting from such technological advancements, is the world of electronic health records, or EHR.
EHRs are useful in that they are the electronic means by which patient records are stored. (1) Examples of such health records include dates of immunization, allergies, images from radiology appointments, past diagnoses, and medications, to name a few. (1) Overall, electronic patient records have streamlined the management of patients’ past health records. (1) These records are now able to be shared across multiple organizations and health care providers in need of such records. (1) Recently, EHRs have become increasingly easier to be utilized as a result of a new collaboration between Google Health and Meditech. (4)
The mission of Google Health is to develop technology that can aid with better understanding the health conditions of patients to assist physicians and other healthcare professionals and health providers with obtaining access to such information. (2) The mission of Meditech is to work to expand ease of access to patient records specifically. (3)
It was recently announced that both companies would be working together to aid health professionals interested in obtaining and evaluating EHRs can access these records with more longitudinal patient data provided. (4) In such a way, patients’ health conditions are analyzed more holistically. (4) However, the companies have stated that being able to evaluate patients more holistically does not need to involve excessive data and other information. (4) This is where Google Health steps in, as the company is working to summarize patient data in a way that avoids overburdening health professionals responsible for assessing patient conditions. (4)
Ultimately, these changes to EHRs could be revolutionary in that they grant clinicians access to more longitudinal but succinct patient history information, allowing for the establishment of more holistic assessments of patient health. (4) In such a way, lifestyle factors of patients that are affecting disease development may be more easily identified.
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- Aprile Bertomo