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ASTM International Committee E31 on Healthcare Informatics reports the innovative use of its continuity of care record (CCR) standard within the Google Health application that was launched in May. The CCR standard is an XML-based format for access to, transport of, and interoperable exchange of core summary health information. It is intended to support continuity of care, reduce medical errors, and increase efficiency by eliminating duplication of tests and procedures.
Google Health, which was made available to the public after a pilot project with the Cleveland Clinic, is a personal health record service that allows users to create an online health profile by importing personal health data from pharmacies and labs, as well as by entering the data themselves.
"The major breakthrough here, apart from the global presence of Google's personal health records platform, is the computability that the CCR standard confers on the healthcare content in the Google Health PHR. It is one thing to store health data on the Web as a text file, for example one's medications or lab results, where they can be viewed. It is a giant leap forward to make the data both human and machine readable, so that these same data can be acted upon in some intelligent way by a remote server, kept up to date, and improved upon in terms of accuracy and relevance. That is what the CCR XML format achieves for the consumer that is really new and different," says David C. Kibbe, M.D., M.B.A, chair of E31, senior advisor to the American Academy of Family Physicians, and principal of The Kibbe Group LLC.