Personal Health Records (PHR) puts patients in control of their health record by allowing controlled access to health information to the circle of care. The Kindred PHR is the latest version of MyOSCAR PHR with a new and improved UI. According to the Kindred PHR blog, “the original code will remain in the Open Source world.” which implies that Kindred PHR may not be open source. This is unfortunate and against the spirit of open-source considering the fact that it “began its life as an unintentional “fork” of the Indivohealth project.”

Kindred PHR

Image Credit: stevepb at

The Kindred PHR is a hosted service akin to Microsoft’s Health Vault, which is available as TELUS health space in Canada. Kindred PHR provides three fundamental features:

1. Secure Messaging
2. Data Sharing
3. Appointment Booking

Kindred PHR is closely integrated (only) with OSCAR EMR allowing sharing of documents such as immunization and allergy records, medications and lab records. Patients can add their circle of care and set the individual access privileges. The documents sent to Kindred is saved as individual documents with the associated meta-data stored in MySQL relational database. An interesting feature of Kindred PHR is the Health Trackers that allows patients to share self-monitored health data with the providers. Patients can add custom trackers as well.

OSCAR EMR and Kindred PHR are separate instances and do not share the same database. Only documents explicitly ‘sent to PHR’ will be available in Kindred, and this could lead to data concurrency issues, especially allergy data. Kindred’s Health Tracker could benefit from our HL10 self-monitored data model, and we would be happy to work with Kindred team on this. We are also working on a system to semantically reconcile allergy information from various EMR systems, and the prototyping will be done on OSCAR and OpenMRS.

Kindred PHR has a great UI, which is intuitive and user-friendly. It is already in use and supports provincial initiatives such as TAPESTRY. However, deviance from its open-source roots is a concern to the community. Reliance on open standards will give it acceptance beyond the OSCAR user base.

Please check out our Patient Controlled and Contributed Health Record (PCCHR) project and the most user-friendly Ontario billing module for OpenMRS. Use my virtualization script to install and demo OSCAR and openMRS in your laptop.

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Bell Eapen

Techie Dermatologist, Programmer geek,Information Systems Ph.D. candidate, OpenMRS supporter, armchair philosopher, loves Canadian wine and beer,believes in coding to save lives. [Resume]
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