PatientLink Enterprises - First Place Winner of the ONC's Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge
The ONC's Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge was intended to spur the development of third-party, consumer-facing applications that use open, standardized APIs to
help consumers store their data in one place and under their control. This challenge focused on solving the problem that many consumers have today – the ability to
easily and electronically access their health data from different health care providers who use a variety of different health IT systems.
The lack of interoperability between electronic health record (EHR) systems remains a significant barrier to the modernization of health IT.
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)®
, developed by HL7,
is a standard designed to allow data to move between vendor systems at different providers and to third-party applications for direct use
by consumers, enabling patients to play a more active role in managing their health. Patients' ability to seamlessly carry their data with
them as they move from provider to provider is one of the main goals of moving from a paper-based to an electronic health record system.
, the first place winner in the ONC challenge, is a cloud-based platform which allows patients to electronically
gather their medical records using FHIR® and to securely communicate with their doctors, researchers, and others using
, a method for
sending bidirectional, encrypted health information. The ultimate goal is that this connection will result in better care and faster cures.
"We are ecstatic!" said Debi Willis, PatientLink CEO and Founder. "It is such an
honor to win the first place award from the most prestigious entity in healthcare IT. I'm excited not only for us, but for
the future of healthcare. MyLinks can empower people to change the way medicine is practiced. Healthcare has been so fragmented
and disconnected for patients. Finally…we now have a secure platform to enable us to gather and control all of our medical
records, connect with each other, share information, encourage one another, and opt-in to participate in research." MyLinks
allows patients to indicate their desire to participate in research, and even specify the area of research they want to join.
No data is ever shared without specific confirmation by the patient. "We want patients to feel safe…and empowered to do
something to stop the illnesses that take the lives of our loved ones" Willis said. "When my brilliant mother was diagnosed
with Alzheimer's, I felt powerless to stop its course in taking her from us. I feel MyLinks can join us all together to
fight – and win – against so many diseases."
The initial force behind the invention was Willis' personal experience caring for a family member with cancer,
then her own experience with cancer shortly afterward. "When we are diagnosed with a serious illness, it is a frightening
and confusing time. I realized there are three vital elements we need available to us. First, we need all of our data:
we want to understand the diagnosis, understand how severe our condition is, and what we can do to get well and stay well.
Secondly, we want to know what research is being done and how we can participate or benefit from it. And lastly, more than
ever, we need the support of our family and friends. Illness shouldn't be a journey we walk alone", Willis said.
"MyLinks has been a vision and passion of mine for several years. We have been building the product, but knew
it would require technology standards among all electronic medical records to make it work. I am so thrilled the
government has new mandates that will make this all possible very soon. I feel like we have been building a train,
and the tracks are finally getting put in place and connected. Patients having access to all of their data will empower
them to have better control of their health and their lives, and allow them to be the drivers of change. I believe
we will see some amazing changes in the next few years!" Willis said.
MyLinks is also an integral tool in assisting providers with care coordination, as well as helping them to meet new
government mandates for patient engagement.
Information about PatientLink Enterprises
In 1999, PatientLink was the first company to build a product which allowed patients to send their data to their doctor and have it displayed
as structured data within the physician’s own electronic medical record. PatientLink was awarded two patents for that invention. Having a
keen ability to recognize an industry need and a talented team of software engineers is the perfect combination to create solutions to
meet the growing needs of the healthcare industry.
PatientLink started with a very simple method of capturing information from patients on paper, their proprietary software read the information
from the paper, then sent the data into the physician’s electronic medical record as discrete structured data. Over the years, PatientLink
has expanded its product line to allow patients to complete electronic forms from their home computer, or in the office via smart tablets,
kiosks, and even from a smart phone. All data is transferred into the clinic’s electronic systems as structured data. The prime focus
of PatientLink products is to improve workflow for physicians, encourage patient engagement and improve the lives of patients.
PatientLink’s patented products are used in clinics and hospitals across the nation. MyLinks is PatientLink’s new product line
focused on meeting consumer’s needs, changing the way patients manage their health and health records. PatientLink has received
several awards and has been featured in several newspapers and magazines.
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PatientLink®, MyLinks® and their logos are trademarks of PatientLink Enterprises and its affiliates.