The Medical Information Project
My father in-law asked me one day if I could think of a way that he could have immediate easy access to his medical information. His present solution was to carry a 8 x 10 piece of paper with him when he visits his physician. The paper included his medication, allergies, past medical history and physician information. You see he has several doctors not just a primary physician and each of the physician prescribe medication for what ever diagnostic they specialize in and each doctor did not keep track of what the other physicians prescribed. However when ever he visited these different doctors the first question they would ask him is what medication he was taking. It was difficult for him to remember all of the medication and dosages so he developed this one page document to show his physicians.
The issue for him was that the paper because of size was not convenient for him and he only carried it when he knew he had an appointment. What he wanted was a more convenient form that he could carried all of the time and one that could be used if he was ever in an emergency situation and was not capable of communicating his history.
The first solution that came to me because of my experience with database development and PHP would be to develop a web base database to store his information and then give his physician access upon request. However because of my understanding of (1)HIPAA regulation I accepted that a web base database system may be flawed. I felt that if access could be given to the medical information it would be possible for it to be hacked by anyone who just liked to hack into web sites. Also the web based system may not be accessible in situations especially in remote areas where emergencies may occur. The solution called for a way to carry the information in a convenient form that would be accessible without an internet connection and that it maintain some degree of privacy.
I told him I would give it some thought and see if I could develop a solution for him.