J Am Med Inform Assoc 15:1-7 doi:10.1197/jamia.M2562
  • Perspectives on Informatics
  • Viewpoint Paper

Early Experiences with Personal Health Records

  1. John D Halamkaa,
  2. Kenneth D Mandlb,
  3. Paul C Tangc
  1. aBeth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
  2. bChildren’s Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
  3. cPalo Alto Medical Foundation, Palo Alto, CA
  1. Correspondence: John Halamka, MD, MS, CareGroup Healthcare System, 1135 Tremont Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02215 (Email: <jhalamka{at}>)
  • Received 18 July 2007
  • Accepted 4 October 2007


Over the past year, several payers, employers, and commercial vendors have announced personal health record projects. Few of these are widely deployed and few are fully integrated into ambulatory or hospital-based electronic record systems. The earliest adopters of personal health records have many lessons learned that can inform these new initiatives. We present three case studies—MyChart at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, PatientSite at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Indivo at Children’s Hospital Boston. We describe our implementation challenges from 1999 to 2007 and postulate the evolving challenges we will face over the next five years.


  • This work was supported in part by contract N01-LM-3-3515 from the National Library of Medicine and grant P01 CD000260-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Adam Bosworth of Google, Ed Fotsch of Medem, Omid Moghadam of Dossia, and Peter Neupert of Microsoft shared their ideas with the authors about the future of personal health records. Sumit Rana of Epic Systems provided background on the development of MyChart. Margaret Jeddry prepared the figures for this paper.

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