TO YOUR HEALTH

We found several ways to store your health records online for free. But your doctor may not be ready for this.

GOOGLE-HEALTHWith Google Health, (google.com/health) you can store medical records from hospitals, pharmacies and laboratories and share the information with doctors, family or caregivers, just by linking to them. We tried it out by creating an account and choosing Quest Diagnostics as our records holder. But Quest asked us to print out a letter and send it to our doctor for permission to set things up.  All your results are then linked once you enter a special code the doctor gives you. Good luck getting the doctor’s approval, by the way; our doctor doesn’t even email.

healthvaultMicrosoft “HealthVault” (healthvault.com) takes a different approach. You enter the information yourself.  If you’ve been good about saving your lab results, this is a lot handier. But it can get tricky when you’re asked to specify “units” of measurement. For a cholesterol test, you can pretty well guess that “mg/dl” means milligrams per deciliter, one of the choices on the form, but what about bone density tests? Those are measured in standard deviations, which isn’t an option on the Microsoft form. We are obviously in early days on making health records available on the web, and some of the providers are not clear on the concepts.

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