Researchers from Johns Hopkins, the Ohio State University and the National Cancer Institute predict that 75 percent of US adults will use personal health records (PHRs) by 2020, even without additional interventions.
In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, academics extrapolated from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) from 2008, 2011, and 2013 and applied a product adoption prediction technique called Bass modeling to come up with the optimistic scenario.
They presented three different models, depending on whether they considered the innovation start date for PHR technology to be 2001, 2004 or 2007. The best-case scenario has put adoption at 75 percent in 2020, but all of them outperformed the adoption targets of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 and 3 guidelines.
Consumers' PHR use is growing in both the numbers of people engaged and the degree of technological functionality they can manage. As organizations identify ways to make these tools more widely available, sophisticated PHR technologies would move from the domain of early adopters to the widespread use among a majority of consumers in the market. As this occurs, the primary factor limiting PHR functionalities' diffusion may well be health care vendors' and providers' reticence to deploy these tools in a manner that resonates with the patient. It is not the consumer who is unwilling to use these tools, but the deployment and barriers they face that limits their adoption.
Like that's not enough, researchers argue that Meaningful Use targets could actually slow down PHR adoption.
"Policy discussions in a 'post-meaningful use' world would benefit from insights provided through these types of data-based diffusion analyses, especially as the emphasis shifts away from applying [internally motivated] incentives for adoption, to driving innovation to curry the interest of engaged consumers," they wrote.
mHealth Spot is looking at the future with a great dose of optimism, and even though various digital health record predictions failed miserably, this time round we do think that by 2020 the majority of people will be using PHRs. And the reason for this has little to do with traditional healthcare companies or the government(s); rather it will be the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung that will make this technology easy to use with clear benefits to the end user…