Huge employee health record effort in jeopardy

Late last year, a group of giant U.S. and European companies announced they would build a massive joint PHR linking hospital, physician and pharmacy data. The idea was to create a PHR that would not only help consumers with current health needs, but travel with a patient across their entire medical history. The Dossia Consortium, which includes Intel, Wal-Mart, Intel, Applied Materials and British Petroleum's American unit, retained a Portland, Ore. firm known as Omnimedix Institute to develop the $15 million record.

Only a few months later, the project is in crisis, with Omnimedix accused of failing to meet several deadlines. The two parties are now locked in a legal dispute over the project, with Dossia attempting to kick Omnimedix off the project, and Omnimedix, in turn, demanding an $1.25 million installment which was due in April.

Not only has this put off Dossia's planned summer rollout of the PHR, it's put the ownership of the intellectual property involved in question. If Dossia can prove that Omnimedix defaulted on its contract, Omnimedix must turn over the exclusive license to the software it developed, the source code and information on how to run it.  If Omnimedix gets to keep the software, meanwhile, it could suddenly find itself with a high-end PHR read to compete aggressively with high-profile efforts by Google, WebMD and others. (Hey, Google, if this ends up as an orphan product, maybe it's time to buy.)

To learn more about the issues:
- read this Portland Business Journal piece
- look at the Dossia Web site
- read about the city of New Orleans' participation in a Dossia pilot (.pdf)

PLUS: Despite the legal battle with Omnimedix, the Dossia PHR will still move ahead regardless, according to a spokesperson. Article

Related Articles:
CMS launches PHR program with health plans. Report
Promoting PHR use: Is it a good idea? Report
Blue plans, health industry group plan PHR. Report
Banks to offer help in PHR dissemination. Report
A Google vision for health data. Report

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