The use, storage and disposal of health records are major components of the health care system in the United States. With laws like HIPAA enacted to protect those records and allow for their use at the physician level, it's clear that such services are valuable. That's also the case over in Japan, where MMRGlobal earlier today revealed the approval of a patent through the Japan Patent Office allowing for a new way to protect and dispense health records.
The new patent, describing a Method and System for Providing Online Medical Records, is said to include fully 40 different claims relating to getting health records directly from a website. Along with accessing those health records directly through a website, users will also, under the terms of the patent, be able to manage those records by organizing documents within the records, adding additional layers of password protection and even being able to send those records to other healthcare providers as needed by the patient.
MMRGlobal is already widely known for its MyMedicalRecords PHR, MyEsafeDepositBox storage system, and its MMRPro document managing systems, all specifically geared toward various parts of the healthcare market. They also boast patents worldwide, including seven in the United States and 400 claims in progress.
What's more, some of MMRGlobal's patents aren't even specifically related to information management in healthcare, with a recently-approved patent in the European Union addressing manufacturing compositions involving cancer care with B-cell vaccines. Some of these patents were acquired through a recent reverse merger with Favrille, Inc., and produce large amounts of revenue via licensing arrangement.
MMRGlobal's new patent represents something of a double-edged sword. While it's certainly a good thing to allow patients access to their own records via remote and allow them to sort them and move them around as need be, it's also somewhat dangerous.
Sure, records can be protected. Multi-stage passwords and password types, including images and random phrases, can be a big help, but it's always worth noting that what one programmer creates, another can destroy. Making records accessible remotely leaves the possibility for malfeasance, and that's not something anyone wants to see happen with medical records. Still, we can hardly bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the ability to remotely access records and transfer them as needed isn't both useful and valuable.
Basic precautions – the kind which are likely contained in at least some part of the MMRGlobal patent chain – will definitely be a major help toward keeping patient records safe. Being able to easily move them around as need be will also likely bring plenty of value to patients who need it. The end result is a more flexible and more functional healthcare system that can get records where they're most needed and keep patients better involved in the process.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo