Personal Health Records (PHR) have the potential to enhance healthcare and reduce costs, argues Prime India Healthcare Solutions Managing Director V Vinod Sharma

Personal Health Records (PHR) have the potential to enhance healthcare and reduce costs through better analysis and accurate diagnoses. PHR on cloud computing & mobile offer cost-effective information services that can help realize the benefits of PHR.

Though in a very nascent stage in India, there is a promising scope for Personal Health Records in Indian Healthcare Industry. There are various firms who have already set their footprints in this segment and have a substantial subscriber base.

Present challenges

Most of our health management systems in India have been developed keeping the core interests of healthcare service providers, thereby keeping away the consumer or payers interest on the periphery. This has often lead to issues of interoperability of electronic/health records between healthcare payers & providers.

PHR if well adopted can be a powerful instrument & in fact result in altering relationships with in healthcare industry. A consumer with his access to PHR can have better access to quality healthcare & can control their own healthcare needs. The increase in online second opinions & doctor consultations is a direct reminder to the decision makers in healthcare on how the PHR can impact the market. In
India many players have emerged in this segment like Prime India healthcare, mediangels, mdhill, dialadoc etc.

The PHR industry or Mobile health technologies are often backed & promoted by payers & Insurance providers, whilst it also faces the disruptive When PHR is inevitable challenges from within the industry i.e. doctors & hospitals as they believe the growth of this sector may lead to reduction in their revenue streams in the longer run. A few providers also relate this to privacy or security issues.

Why PHR is inevitable, an emerging solution?

The rising number of lifestyle and chronic diseases, the cost of healthcare & the growth of health awareness along with growing broadband access have pushed the consumer to shift to self  care methods like subscribing to health related web content providers, online second opinions & search for doctors & hospitals reviews. This potentially alters the decision making of the consumer seeking healthcare services. This is where the PHR plays a major role as it facilitates and empowers the consumer to store, manage & share their health data & to access the services from various providers.

As time goes we will see that how PHR will reach its full potential and becomes a way of life.

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