Initially, Mayo Clinic Health Manager will include tools and features that help consumers manage pediatric and adult wellness, immunizations, pregnancy and asthma. Forthcoming features will help users with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and/or high blood pressure.
According to Mayo’s press kit, PHR users will be able to “transfer data directly into [a] Mayo Clinic Health Manager profile from a wide range of providers, devices (such as blood pressure cuffs or glucose monitors), pharmacies and health plans connected to Microsoft HealthVault.” But curiously, the Mayo Clinic’s own patients cannot yet upload their medical records to the PHR, according to Mayo spokesperson Ginger Plumbo. “We’re working on it,” she added, noting that that the group hopes to clear away the technical obstacles before the end of the year.
Microsoft HealthVault, like Google Health, has not been very successful so far in getting healthcare providers to share their clinical information online with their patients. Dr. Bill Crounse, senior director of worldwide health for Microsoft, told BNET recently that HealthVault won’t realize its full potential until it includes clinical data. One healthcare system that recently took a big step in that direction is the New York- Presbyterian Hospital, which is using Microsoft’s Amalga software to pull together patient data from its disparate systems for its own PHR on the HealthVault platform. The free PHR is now available to cardiology and cardiac surgery patients at the NYP Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
Getting back to the Mayo Clinic, much of the information that will be made available to its PHR users will come from the massive consumer health library that the group first posted on the Internet in 1995 at www.mayoclinic.com. That free resource reinforced Mayo’s reputation as a premier source of reliable healthcare information on the web.
Meanwhile, Mayo has also partnered with IBM to accelerate research on natural language processing (NLP) through an open-source collaboration involving about 2,000 researchers and developers. Eventually, it is hoped, NLP will enable physicians to retrieve the exact information they are seeking from health records.
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