PHRs – Interest but no action

The ideas are almost there…almost.We can just about taste it, but refuse to take a bite.

I’m talking about online Personal Health Records (PHRs).A new report from Manhattan Research quantifies what we’ve suspected – there is a huge gap between interest and adoption.

How big? 90 percent.63 million people.

The report estimates that 70 million health consumers would like to use a PHR. By my math, that’s almost 50 percent of online adults in the US.

However, only seven million actually use a PHR.

And personally I think 7 million is high. I’d believe that 7 million people have used a PHR once, but actually “using” a PHR to actively manage their health…I don’t believe it.

So what’s causing the gap?According to MR, privacy concerns, lack of understanding, and doubts about any efficiency that the PHR may be providing are the items hindering adoption.

Personally, I think it’s more fundamental.Consumers are doing a simple cost/value comparison and, except for a few groups dealing with chronic disease, the current offerings fall short.The pain of getting started is too great.The value is negligible.

PHRs today are too disconnected from the processes that health consumers use for the management of their health and the health of their loved ones today.Certainly, it needs to be easier for consumers to get information , but more importantly, the value that the consumer gets from investing that time and effort needs to be very clear.Maybe that value is there.If so, then we’re not communicating it well.More often than not, there isn’t much added value.Consumers can put their information in and then later they can look at it.It’s not enough.

But the demand is clearly there.It’s now up to us to deliver something that’s worth their time.

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This entry was posted in eHealth, Industry Trends by Ben Dillon. Bookmark the permalink.
Ben Dillon

About Ben Dillon

Ben’s a big picture type of guy. He loves sharing new ideas in digital marketing, keeping a watchful eye on healthcare industry trends and seeing how it all intersects. A sought-after speaker, writer, blogger and current SHSMD board member, Ben’s an influential voice in healthcare marketing, helping organizations across the country embrace online strategies to engage health consumers. Combine his industry savvy with his background in software development and you can see why he’s also an important member of Geonetric’s software team, ensuring our content management system stays a step ahead of market needs. Ben holds a master’s degree in eBusiness and strategic management from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. When he’s not traveling and evangelizing, Ben enjoys cooking with his family and playing the Big House with the University of Michigan Alumni marching band.

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