Cerner: PHRs for children with Type 1 diabetes

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Cerner Corp. this week launched a $25 million, 10-year initiative to provide personal health records (PHR) to children with Type 1 diabetes. The announcement was made at the Cerner Health Conference in Orlando, Fla.

The initiative will put together the necessary technologies and services needed to connect physicians to children with diabetes and their parents. The PHR will help the physician better manage patients by targeting those having difficulties dealing with Type 1 diabetes, said Cerner.

If patients managing the disease effectively can converse with their doctor electronically, hospital visits will not be necessary. This would create time for physicians to see new patients and those more challenged by the disease, said Cerner.

"Over the next five years, Cerner will spend $1 billion on research and development," said Neal Patterson, CEO and chairman of Cerner. "We believe it makes sense to use a percentage of that amount to create a national proof point around the benefits of a PHR and to help improve the health outcomes of kids with diabetes."

Every year, 13,000 children are diagnosed with diabetes in the United States. Diabetes accounts for $132 billion in healthcare costs each year and people with diabetes incur medical expenses that are approximately 2.4 times higher than those without diabetes, particularly those people who don't effectively manage the disease.