Corporate coalition launches large scale PHR initiative for employees
Several large corporations including Applied Materials, BP America, Intel Corporation, Pitney Bowes, and Wal-Mart today announced that they are taking part in a joint project to provide employees, retirees and their dependents with lifelong access to personal health records. This will be done through a new web-based architecture being developed called “Dossia.”

"Dossia will empower individuals to manage their own health care, improve communications with their doctors, and ensure more complete and accurate information for health care providers than the current fragmented, paper-based system," said JD Kleinke, chairman and CEO of the Omnimedix Institute, the non-profit organization with headquarters in Portland, Ore. that is developing Dossia. "With Dossia's personal, private and portable personal health records, individuals will be able to maintain comprehensive, up-to-date histories for themselves and their families."

Dossia is based on the Connecting for Health Common Framework, a set of design and policy standards established by advocacy organizations, physician groups, insurers, technologists and privacy watchdogs. It is designed to enable an individual to develop a personal health record by either entering the data themselves or enabling the system to search and securely aggregate their individual health data from various sources. The technology will be based on an open architecture that will allow for multiple personal health applications to interface with it.

Dossia has gotten early backing from a number of organizations within the health care industry including the American Association of Family Physicians as well as consumer groups such as the National Consumers League.

The system will initially be rolled out to the U.S. employees, dependents and retirees of the original five corporations, but will soon be made available to other communities of users and personal health applications developers. It is planned for a mid-2007 deployment.