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Friday, September 27, 2013

eHealth Sources of Wellness

Disclaimer: opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent the policy of McMaster University, where I am employed.

I was checking the student wellness website at McMaster and immediately saw the eHealth application and benefit. First, there was a list of apps for smartphones on wellness and fitness <here>. Since I don't have a smartphone I can't testify about the worth of these apps. All I know is that everybody (and their dog) these days you see on the street is staring more at a phone than anything else in the environment. McMaster's employees website also have excellent resources for health and wellness, part of that movement toward corporate wholeness and a healthy workplace.

Another one of the great resources I found on the McMaster website was a link to a depression symptom checker. Now, that is the sort of thing you can find on some of the major consumer health websites, but this depression checklist was very good - had received research testing, face validity, evaluation etc. Problem is, I can't find the link to it now, but it was kind of like this one < here >. Maybe that is why people use the common consumer health websites - stuff is easy to find there. The thing is, if depression is part of ones' own personal health inventory, these should be integrated into one's personal health record, which should be easy to find, and accessed as often as one uses a tooth brush.

Should a personal health record also include apps and records for wellness and fitness, and counselling resources, and yoga videos, dental x-rays, MMR shots, etc.? Yes I think they should. This was also a question I once asked the late Kevin Leonard at a health informatics conference. At that time people at the conference were thinking mostly about personal health records as portal views of the physician's electronic medical record. Kevin thought everything related to one's health should be accessible in a electronic health record. Dr. Leonard was one of the leading advocates for personal wellness in the age of electronic health records. When I learned that he died of complications from pneumonia and that he had Crohns, I can understand more his personal mission. Why can't there just be One Record? < Patient Destiny >