‘Today’ and Redbook notice mobile PHRs

Regular readers know about my skepticism toward personal health records, given the minuscule level of consumer acceptance. Manhattan Research highlighted the low uptake of PHRs in a study released Jan. 15.

“Despite significant interest in this type of service, only 7 million U.S. adults actually use PHRs,” the company said. “Compelling offerings from vendors ranging from Google, WebMD, and Microsoft to multiple insurers and employers have sparked buzz around PHR in the past year. But for average consumers not motivated by a serious illness, significant barriers such as privacy concerns, lack of understanding, and doubts to PHR efficiency hinder adoption”

At least one consumer publication thinks that might change this year. Last Friday on NBC’s “Today Show,” Redbook health editor Camille Chatterjee talked about the magazine’s 10 health trends for 2009.

Amongst such topics as the Wii Fit and, ahem, vaginal fitness, Chaterjee included online and mobile PHRs, specifically mentioning AllOne Mobile and Microsoft’s HealthVault.

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The PHR discussion starts at about 2:00. You can read the accompanying story here. Also, check out the podcast I did with AllOne Mobile’s Frank Avignone last year.

Meanwhile, HIMSS last week released a new book, “Personal Health Records: The Essential Missing Element in 21st Century Healthcare,” by Dr. Holly Miller, Dr. Bill Yasnoff and Howard Burde, all familiar names in health IT circles.

This follows on the heels of CMS launching a PHR pilot for Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona and Utah.

Are all these developments more hype or do they represent real progress?