Public PHR portal in works for New York

Brooklyn startup wins PHR design contest
By Anthony Brino
07:41 AM

The New York eHealth Collaborative has announced the winners of its personal health record portal challenge, with the designs in turn expected to inform the PHR that NYeC will offer all New Yorkers in 2014.

A Brooklyn-based health data and design startup called Mana Health won first prize and $15,000 for it’s PHR, followed by the NYC software company Applied Informatics’ iHealthNY PHR (awarded $7,500) and the Clifton, N.J.-based public health software company RDE Systems’ MyHealthProfile (awarded $2,500).

ManaHealth PHR’s main dashboard features four tabs on the left side of the screen that control the main page. One tab for vitals can show, among other health data, heart rate, blood type, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose. Another tab lets patients manage information sharing consents with different providers, another shows a provider access timeline and another facilitates secure patient-doctor email.

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The iHealthNY and MyHealthProfile PHRs feature similar functions, in formats for both mobile and standard computer screens.

NYeC, a publicly-funded nonprofit that manages the Statewide Health Information Network of New York, issued the PHR design challenge earlier this year, asked New Yorkers to vote for their favorites and then took the nine finalists to two panels of medical and IT professionals to vote on the top three.

“One of the most important achievements of the challenge is that it engaged New Yorkers in this crucial discussion,” David Whitlinger, NYeC executive director, said in a media release. “The portal is about making a patient’s data freely accessible to them so they can manage their own healthcare. It’s about bringing power to the people of New York.”

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NYeC is now looking for an organization (or individual developer) to build a patient portal, incorporating designs from the challenge winners. The PHR will be open to all 19.5 million New Yorkers and will be connected to the State Health Information Network, which connects 11 regional information organizations.

NYeC specified several requirements for the PHR’s functionality and architecture in a recently-issued request for proposals. It has to be a “skinnable” system that lets any provider organization implement the portal and personalize it with minimal configuration and its content must be easily translated into multiple languages.

The portal also has to be open to integration with outside systems and accessible on multiple devices (like smartphones and tablets, in addition to standard computers). It has to be a module-based system that allows certain elements to be removed or added, and it has to meet 2014 meaningful use certification standards for the “view, download and transmit” objectives.