The EU-funded MyHealthAvatar project is trying out a digital representation of your health status, designed as a lifetime companion (Avatar). Your Health Avatar will facilitate the collection of, and access to, long-term health-status information. This would empower patients, would be valuable for healthcare decisions and promising for health research.
To continue their work, the project experts wanted to know if there was a public interest in this and they launched a survey.
The survey was online for only two months (June 2013 and July 2013). Nevertheless, the project experts managed to collect 270 responses in total.
Electronic Health Records
Most (71%) survey respondents say they are aware of Electronic Health Records (EHR). But more than 85% is not using personal health records.
Of those respondents, two out of three report their interest in a new, secure, advanced and personal health platform that lets you gather, store, analyse and visualise health information online as is the goal of the MyHealthAvatar project.
Functionalities of a Health Avatar
About 80% of all respondents is interested in the possibility to 'enter, import, store and export personal medical data', 'schedule and coordinate medical appointments', 'find personalised information about the diseases, drugs, vitamins, food, etc.'
Not many respondents are keen to share their personal Avatar with others though. With the doctor yes (77%), but three out of four are 'very uninterested' and 'unsure' about the function to share information with other Avatars or researchers (e.g. for clinical trials).
However, a vast majority of respondents (nearly 80%) is interested in 'entering, importing, storing and exporting' their Avatar medication list and their Avatar laboratory results.
Access to your data
Access with your smart phone? 69% say they would be interested.
A big worry for the respondents is their privacy: More than 80% see moderate or high risks in the security and privacy of the MyHealthAvatar platform. Most respondents (about 90%) want to know who has access to their Avatar and want to track who accessed it.
All in all positive
"One of the top conclusions of the survey is the high interest of all respondents in the MyHealthAvatar platform", says project coordinator Prof. Feng Dong. "We are very proud to conclude that almost all received comments were positive and related to good wishes for our further project activities."
Find the full report with the results of the survey here.