Lead Institution: Dartmouth

Project Leader: Denise Anthony

Research Progress

  • Abstract

    This project set out to explore consumers’ reported use of online access and tracking of their personal health information via either PHRs or web-portals to access their EMRs using a nationally representative sample; to identify groups or individual characteristics associated with more/less use of online health tracking.

  • Focus of the research/Market need for this project

    Lack of adequate understanding of how consumers/patients access online personal health information, or whether particular groups are more/less likely to use such technologies, may lead to unequal access to or use of such technologies across groups.

  • Project Aims/Goals

    We used the 2007 Health Information and National Trends Survey (HINTS) to examine Internet users aged 18 or older who reported at least one non-emergency room health care visit in the 12 months prior to the survey (n=3,553), to examine the characteristics of those tracking their personal health information online. Early adoption of new technologies by some groups and not others may lead to inequality in the resources and skills created by those technologies, which can exacerbate existing health and health care disparities.

  • Key Conclusions/Significant Findings/Milestones reached/Deliverables
    • Findings: 574 (15%) respondents reported tracking personal health information online. Self-rated health was unrelated to reports of online tracking of health information. Psychological distress was positively associated with online tracking of health information (adjusted odds ratios [AOR], 1.30; 95% CI, 1.01-1.67, p = .04). Respondents who reported making 5 to 9 (AOR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.25-2.54, p = .01) and 10 or more (AOR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.06-2.85, p = .03) non-emergency room health care visits were more likely to track health information online than those with only one visit.
    • Deliverables: Preliminary analyses and findings presented at: Workshop on Personal Health Portfolios: Technology, Usability, and Policy. February 8, 2013 Information Law Institute & Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University.
  • Materials Available for Other Investigators/interested parties

    Conference paper available.

  • Market entry strategies


Paper with trend analysis incorporating HINTS 2007 and 2012 data currently in preparation for submission to Journal of Medical Internet Research.