Medical records on an iPhone?

Futurism is fun, but until we get the basics down we can't move toward it.

iPhone EMR record from Life RecordWith dozens of electronic health record outfits struggling for market share, you need a gimmick to get attention.

Life Record has just such a gimmick. Put your health records on your iPhone.

This is obviously a gimmick because there are not yet many iPhones out there, and AT&T charges out the wazoo for data transfers. But the deal does let Life Record talk about its concept of Web-based health records, which is a worthy subject of discussion.

The solution was announced back in July, and Life Record now has a key customer to offer. It's a doctor. But doctors aren't the point of sale on EMR technology. Hospitals are.

The company has posted a video tutorial on YouTube, which shows a doctor using a password to access a Web site, and using the iPhone touchscreen interface to find data on prescriptions, x-ray records and the like. It takes about five minutes to view.

It's very futuristic. But how safe is that data? How proprietary is that system? How much will this cost? And how much control will the patient have over anything?

Some of these are technology questions. Some of these should be policy questions. Futurism is fun, but until we get the basics down we can't move toward it.


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