Consumer demand for accessing personal health records (PHR) online is now at more than 70 million Americans, according to Cybercitizen Health™ v8.0, the latest consumer study and strategic advisory service from pharmaceutical and healthcare market research company Manhattan Research. Despite significant interest in this type of service, only 7 million U.S. adults actually use PHRs.
Compelling offerings from vendors ranging from Google, WebMD, and Microsoft to multiple insurers and employers have sparked buzz around PHR in the past year. But for average consumers not motivated by a serious illness, significant barriers such as privacy concerns, lack of understanding, and doubts to PHR efficiency hinder adoption.
“Despite the rapidly increasing supply of PHR platforms, consumer adoption of PHRs is unlikely to show significant growth in the absence of major physician participation,” said Erika S. Fishman, Director of Research at Manhattan Research. "Education and awareness building will be critical in establishing the need for a PHR in the mind of American consumers. In a time when our country has not made health IT and electronic medical records a priority, it is understandable why consumers may not see the value in putting in the effort to keep a PHR on their own, unless they are highly motivated to do so because of an illness."