Digital Health Records the Easy Way

immunization-chart.jpg
immunization-chart

Last year, I wrote a Family Tech column about creating digital health records. Getting these records out of the filing cabinet (or the pile near the filing cabinet in my case) made it so much easier to know – with a couple of mouse clicks -- when my last Tetanus shot was, if kids or pets need immunizations, who is due for a physical, and where that sports physical form is when my son announces he needs it, "Right now!" I have enjoyed having ready access to all that information at the click of mouse no matter what computer, netbook, tablet, or phone I happen to have handy.

But, since I wrote that piece, Google closed Google Health. That left me – and I’m sure other people – stuck with the task of moving all my data somewhere else. Moving to Microsoft Health Vault was easy enough. But I have also been trying out new services since that announcement.

I took one service designed specifically for parents – MotherKnows.com -- for a spin recently and was surprised at how easy it was to get a complete digital birth-to-now record of my kids’ health. And I did almost nothing beyond signing up.

I registered, entered contact information for my kids’ doctor, digitally signed a form, logged off, and went back to my life while the folks at MotherKnows got busy. They requested health records from our doctor. When they got no response from the office there, I got an email updating me to what was going on. But the MotherKnows people carried on harrassing the nurses at the doctor’s office till they got my records. Once they had them in hand, they converted every page into usable data. Then I got an email telling me everything was set.

I logged on and there it was: Weight and height charts right up to last week, every doctor’s visit, every instance of STREP throat, every medication, every procedure, every immunization, every detail. There is even a handy immunization chart showing when the kids got their shots and if any are outstanding.

I will never wonder again, “When was your last tetanus shot?” while bandaging up a scraped knee. I can log on and look it up in seconds.

All this service isn’t free, of course. It costs $98 per year for one child. Additional children are $10 each. (Monthly plans are available, too.) MotherKnows.com does all the record gathering and gets updates from doctors four times a year. And there is an iPhone app so you can access all this data wherever you are. If you’ve been meaning to set up digital health records for your kids and never seem to find the time, maybe this is the solution?