How can we help propel the Blue Button movement forward?
I didn’t have the opportunity to hear firsthand about all the great Blue Button ideas and resources unveiled at the recent Consumer Health IT Summit, but I did get a chance to hear from ONC reps on this very issue at HIMSS 14 (seems like ages ago, doesn’t it?). There, they equated Blue Button to the Energy Star logo we now take for granted on our appliances and electronics. I am confident they’re on the right track, as I believe the answer lies in the marketing power of providers and vendors, and the purchasing power of the consumer.
As a consumer, I equate Energy Star products with energy efficiency and savings to my family’s bottom line. Wouldn’t it be great if Blue Button reached the point where consumers see it and think “easy data sharing with my docs,” “no more unnecessary, expensive tests,” and/or “phew, gathering all that data before my next appointment was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I didn’t have to take a day off work to get that done”?
That’s not going to happen until vendors and providers mutually agree to bake the Blue Button functionality and logo into their products, PHRs, portals and waiting rooms. I believe the “tipping point” as we love to say, will be when we start seeing the Blue Button logo on our favorite mobile health apps (maybe even those developed with Apple’s HealthKit?), and we can measurably point to increased downloads as a result. Consumers – and their pocketbooks – have the power to make this happen. We just have to make them aware of it.
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