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February 8, 2012

Integrating Technology Into Health Care: What Will It Take?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California (Dr Wang); and Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center, Taipei, Taiwan (Dr Huang).

JAMA. 2012;307(6):569-570. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.102

Technology is in part responsible for increasing health care costs; however, new technology platforms, especially those from consumer electronics, have the potential to both decrease costs and increase the efficiency and quality of care. The benefits of electronic health records (EHRs) are well documented, yet their introduction has been greeted with reluctance and sometimes resistance. Indeed, current usage rates are quite low.1 Similarly, personalized health records (PHRs) for consumers, such as Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault, also have not achieved their predicted uptake. As such, Google shut down Google Health as of January 1, 2012, because “it is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would. . . . We haven't found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people.”2