Aetna offers health info to patients based on records

Aetna has rolled out a new online service that offers enrollees personalized medical information based on their own medical history. The service, called SmartSource, was first tested on Aetna's own 35,000 employees. Aetna will begin by pulling together a medical profile drawn from an insured member's illness history and diagnostic tests, as well as making some assumptions about their health issues based on the kind of health searches the member does on their own. The records are being drawn together using Healthline, a medical database software product. Employers can then offer this service to their insureds as an added benefit.

This is an interesting approach to rolling out a personal health record (PHR). As we've often mentioned in sister publication FierceHealthIT, PHRs face many challenges in getting established, including questions as to whether claims data form a good basis for a rudimentary medical record. However, in this context, as a tool for research, employees may be more willing to come on board. We'll be watching to see if this takes off--but I predict that it will.

To learn more about SmartSource:
- read this New York Times piece

Related Articles:
Google unveils details of PHR. Report
Insurers create PHR model. Report
Microsoft kicks off PHR initiative. Report
Banks to offer help in PHR dissemination. Report
Giant employers move ahead with PHR project. Report

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