AARP helps give members easy access to their health info

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Patients 50 and older have a new way to keep track of their medical histories. Find out how it can keep your patients better informed.

Your patients aged 50 or more years now have a new way to keep track of their medical histories, thanks to an online health tool from the AARP and Microsoft Corp. Such easy access to frequently forgotten details should facilitate communication between doctors and patients, whether patients are visiting their regular primary care physicians, specialists, or emergency departments while on vacation.

AARP Health Record connects to the Microsoft HealthVault online platform, which lets users collect all their health-related information and keep it in one place. When they want to share their information with their doctors and other healthcare providers, all they need is an Internet connection.

“You can access this information at any time from a computer, mobile phone, or tablet, or print it out as an easy-to-read wallet card,” AARP Vice President Nicole Duritz tells Medical Economics. “This is particularly helpful, for example, when you’re filling out papers at your physician’s office and can’t remember your specialist’s address or all of the prescription drugs you or a loved takes.”

The idea is for people aged 50 or more years to use AARP Health Record to better manage (and as a result, improve) their health. Users can update and maintain health history, blood type, allergy, and medication information. The tool includes a place to list medical providers as well as emergency contacts. For handy reference, users can print a wallet-sized card that lists their vital statistics.

In addition, Microsoft’s HealthVault connects users to health and wellness applications that can help them monitor chronic health conditions or keep track of their goals as they try to get fit or stay well. For example, users may import into their AARP Health Records histories of their prescription medications from pharmacies connected to HealthVault.

The AARP is hoping that physicians find it easier to communicate with patients who use AARP Health Record. For example, a patient could provide an instant and accurate answer to a question about current prescriptions, eliminating the need to rely on a patient’s memory and a return phone call with the name of a forgotten drug.

AARP Health Record is available to AARP members at no charge and is available in Spanish as well as English.

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