China is working as hard as America to automate its health records system.
But while America has lately turned away from proprietary solutions, toward open standards, China is going the other way.
With help from Americans.
Unisplendour Corp., which emerged out of Beijing's Tsinghua University, says it has a definitive agreement with MMR Information Systems of Los Angeles to create a Chinese version of MMR's MyMedicalRecords and deploy it throughout the country.
Why go proprietary? Perhaps because MMR's patented technology supports delivery of important documents into its system via voicemail and fax, as well as e-mail and file uploads.
That's important. Not everyone in China has access to or knowledge of the Internet. Being able to call or fax a document and have it securely available is an enormous benefit in the countryside, where a substantial portion of the population still lives.
MMR itself is a pretty interesting outfit. The CEO is Robert Lorsch (above), a PR and advertising man by trade, who has worked for decades to get private sponsorships into the space program.
He's politically-connected, having spent $18,900 in just the last election cycle on politicians, mostly Republican (but some Democratic). He's married to a reality show producer. (The picture is a close-up from a larger photo showing both Lorschs, found at the site of his personal holding company, RHL Group. Click on his name above for the whole story.)
MMR's board of advisors includes such people as former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, former Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson, former House minority leader Dick Gephardt, and former boxer Sugar Ray Leonard.
This is not the way we do tech business in America, but the important point is that China is moving in the same direction we are, toward fully automated electronic health records (EHRs) and personal health records (PHRs) which include all of a citizen's important documents.
Thus, those who oppose EHRs and PHRs need to ask themselves this question. Want to fall behind China?
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com