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Medicine 2.0: Keeping your health records online February 20, 2008

Posted by tomography in Medicine 2.0, web 2.0.

As a medical student I have some insight into how patients’ records are stored at hospitals. I can tell you that sometimes it is very difficult to dig up a patient’s medical history if he or she either does not remember, unable to answer, or simply does not have them. There are several crucial pieces of information that a doctor might need before administering a drug or beginning a certain type of treatment and when no previous medical history is available then these doctors are kept in the dark and they are required to proceed with fingers crossed, hoping that their patient is not allergic to penicillin, for example. Probably that was the initial thought behind a couple startup websites that let patients keep all their medical information (including treatment history, medications, X-rays, CT and MRI images, etc.) in one place; you probably guessed it: online. This information can be accessed with a login name and password from anywhere in the world and patients can also choose to share this information with any health care provider.
These sites are not simply virtual storage facilities, but they offer a wide variety of tools and services free of charge. Let us take a tour of these sites and see what they might have in store for patients.

Revolution Health Logo
I start with Revolution Health because its name applies best what is happening in Medicine 2.0 and also because this is my favorite out of the seven (unless Google Health surprises me). Revolution Health is a very neat, and clean website. It is well organized, and there are no annoying images or advertisements. All sites that are featured here have a news section and a long link section, so let us turn our attention to the right hand column on this site. Here you will find tools for finding a doctor near you, tools for finding drugs and treatments, and a Google Alert-type automated reminder that you can configure to your own needs. The Symptom Checker on this site is just amazing! You click a couple check boxes that best describe your symptoms, and it gives you a list of possible conditions. It is quite detailed. I liked this one, and I can recommend it to you! The Know Your Risks tools lets you find out just how healthy are you, and what diseases you are most prone to based on your habits. If you need more tools, check out the Toolkit that has a BMI calculator, cigarette costs calculator, and my favorite: a calculator that tells you the number of calories you should eat based on your sex, BMI, and age. With Revolution Health you can also start your health portfolio, and keep all your medical records online!

Better Information. Better Health.

WebMD is already a brand that more and more people are familiar with, and I can tell you it is a no wonder why. It is also a well designed site, that offers many free tools for patients. It has a great video section with a huge number of medical condition related videos. The medicine section has a great search option, and tells all that you need to know about a drug including all side-effects. It dedicates a whole section to women, men and children with dietary, fitness and sexual advice. WebMD has a lot of interesting blogs that you can sign up to. These are recategorized by blog topic or expert name. You may sign up with WebMD and start uploading your medical history also free of charge.


I was a little bit surprised by Microsoft entering the online health market, but when I came to think about it, it was a natural move by the software giant. If you do trust Microsoft on information safety go ahead sign in to Health Vault with you Live ID, and start uploading your documents today. The website promises a much better search tool than your regular link-based search engines such as Google, but it fails to provide the “wow” it promises. What is good about the site is that it is compatible with a few programs that clinicians are using in their practices, therefor your HealthVault can be both updated by you or your health care provider. These include: CapMed, MyselfHelp, Kriptyq, and more. Another feature I see potential in is that Health Vault supports a couple devices that patients might be using such as blood glucose monitors, peekflow meters, and everyone’s favorite: Polar watches! In whole, I would give this site a 7 out of 10, because it features the same layout that all MSN or Hotmail users are familiar with, and because it is a great concept, though not yet fully developed.


According to TechCrunch Google is entering the online health record keeping business soon. When? Nobody has the answer to that questions, but with Google you will be able to:

  • Build online health profiles that belong to you
  • Download medical records from doctors and pharmacies
  • Get personalized health guidance and relevant news
  • Find qualified doctors and connect to time-saving services
  • Share selected information with family or caregivers

Here is the latest on this one: Google is set to announce on Thursday that it will be using the Cleveland Clinic hospital in Cleveland, Ohio as the pilot site for its new personal health records initiative.


Keyose is a bit different of these, since it allows users to store their information confidentialy, which is a must in our high-tech everyday lives. Check out the post on Keyose!

There are several other website that allow you to store your medical history online, so I urge you to consider all before making your decision:

I wonder if these are all compatible with one another.
Probably not!

– Andras

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1. Dr Julio Bonis - February 25, 2008

People is really sensible to the confidentiality of their medical data. It is critical information.

The danger with Google Health and HealthVault is that somebody in the future crack their security systems.

Also the fact about a private company getting data about your health must concern us.

In http://www.keyose.com/, designed by the doctor that described the first case of Wiiitis, the philosophy is based on total anonymous users. A smart mechanism allows the store of clinical record without asking you any personal data (not even your email).

Confidentiality is in such a way assured.

2. tomography - February 25, 2008

Dear Dr. Bonis,
thank you for this valuable comment! To be honest with you, I did not look into Keyose in greath depth when preparing this article, but I will make up this mistake by writing about your enterprise in a separate post. Thank you again, and I wish you best of luck with your service.
Andras Szekely

3. This one is for Keyose « Indulge in the fascinating world of - February 25, 2008

[…] must make amends for a small mistake of mine, because today I got a comment on my post titled: Web 2.0: Keeping your health records online from the co-founder of Keyose, Dr. Julio Bonis Sanz (for your information he is renowned for […]

4. iPhone for doctors « Indulge in the fascinating world of - February 29, 2008

[…] a file format and a communications protocol. So now, you can not only access your patients’ medical records online, but you may also view their latest PET, CT, MRI and other related scans. High quality videos of […]

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