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Drugmaker will collaborate with Web startup to develop personalized healthcare plans
A recently launched website for consumer health, Keas (San Francisco), seeks to combine electronic health records (EHRs) with health guidance and recommendations based in part on what those records indicate. While not a version of online medical care (not yet, anyway), the company’s president, Adam Bosworth, emphasizes that he wants his company to go beyond a mere repository of EHR data. A number of individual physicians and health plans, such as CVS MinuteClinic and Healthwise, an online publishing company that has also supplied care plans to WebMD and others, have already signed on, as has Quest Diagnostics, one of the US’s leading clinical labs.
According to Bosworth, when all the pieces of Keas are in place, doctors, dieticians and others will develop “Care Plans” in much the way that Apple Computer attracts application developers to the iPhone, where they can earn income the more often their apps are downloaded. Individual consumers will upload their EHR data (or link to it from Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault or other repositories), select a care plan, and then interact with the system to help themselves manage their health.
“The desire of consumers to manage their health is well-recognized,” says Bosworth. “This setup will help to make that management more personalized and more powerful by combining EHR data with guidance. Over time, he says, the outcomes of individuals health could lead to a ranking or evaluation of plans, with the better plans succeeding in the end. “As has been said, the US healthcare system is really a sick care system; this is about wellness and ongoing health management.”
Pharma companies like Pfizer will be able to offer care plans along with anyone else, although they will have to meet both advisory-board reviews within Keas and FDA regulations on how drugs are promoted. “We’re still figuring the pharma part out, but we believe that there will be valuable overlaps in things like patient reminders, access to coupons and the like,” says Bosworth. “The Pfizer relationship with Keas enables us to partner with healthcare professionals to extend care management outside the office,” says Olivier Brandicourt, president of Pfizer’s Primary Care Business Unit.