Recapping today’s InfoFair 2010

Todd Vandenbark

Info Fair logoToday we hosted our annual InfoFair on the topic “Personal Health Record – Possible, Portable, Private?” The event was held here on the medical campus of the University of Utah, and broadcast live via the Web. Attendance for various portions of the day ranged from 55-70 people, and participation in the Q&A sessions showed thoughtful and engaged interest in the topic.

The day began with a keynote address by Kenneth D. Mandl, M.D., M.P.H., an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Intelligent Health Laboratory at the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program in Boston Massachusetts. Dr. Mandl’s talk on “Patients at the Center of an Innovation Platform: Personally Controlled Health Records and the App Store for Health” focused on what creating an effective personal health record system should look, and how it could enhance the learning side of our healthcare system.

Following a break for food and discussion, the group returned to the George and Dolores Eccles Institute of Human Genetics Auditorium for a “Meet the Experts” panel discussion on the topics raised by Dr. Mandl. Panelists included representatives from corporate, Veterans Affairs, healthcare providers, informatics and patient-centered perspectives.

Following the panel discussions, participants were treated to an online presentation of the new MedlinePlus Connect from Sarena Burgess, M.S., Librarian, Health Information Products Unit, of the National Library of Medicine.  This free service “allows any electronic health record (EHR) system to easily link users to MedlinePlus, an authoritative up-to-date health information resource for patients, families and health care providers. MedlinePlus provides information about conditions and disorders, medications, and health and wellness” (from website).

Wrapping up the event the Library provided a light lunch in the atrium of the Health Sciences and Education Building next door. Participants and visitors alike were treated to finger foods while they perused information tables provided by various vendors, including two companies specializing in personal health records services.