A couple weeks ago, a certain editor proclaimed that personal health record (PHR) services ranked among the health IT trends not to watch in 2012, largely because patients seem reticent to use them.
A partnership between Microsoft and iTriage LLC may change that. In a Dec. 30 announcement, iTriage said it would be integrating its iPhone application with the Microsoft HealthVault PHR service, allowing iTriage users to view HealthVault records on their iPhones.
Partnership announcements rarely catch our eye, but this one did. According to iTriage, more than 3 million people have used its free app to look up symptoms, find a health care provider, or both. Meanwhile, HealthVault remains among the more visible of the free PHR services on the market.
This greatly expanded user base seems to suggest that, when it comes time to bring out your dead, PHR services are getting better, if not feeling happy. They may impact health IT in 2012 after all.