Seniors start using electronic health records


March 29, 2011

The internet has revolutionized a lot of modern day tasks – from shopping to staying in touch with distant family members – but, when it comes to healthcare, technology that can help older adults manage their health at home has been lagging behind. 

Some innovative new products are slowly gaining popularity, however. One of these is the personal emergency response system (PERS), because it can be installed in a home and enable users to immediately send a medical alert if they require assistance.

Another is the personal health record (PHR), which is a program that is becoming widely used among seniors who are looking to better manage their own health needs. One study found that, out of 75,056 patients, 43 percent had started using the software.

The PHR "is an internet-based set of tools that allows people to access and coordinate their lifelong health information," the authors wrote.

Baby boomers appeared to be driving the trend, as 41 percent of participants age 51 to 65 were considered to be high users, which means that they accessed their electronic health records 10 or more times each year.  

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