Patient charts

If you've ever wished you had more immediate access to your health records beyond just asking your doctor for a copy, then you might want to consider a move to New York State. Dr. Nirav Shah, NY state's commissioner of health, has announced that New York will be the first state in the country to launch a new patient portal that'll give you access to your health records from the comfort of your home. Created by Mana Health and the New York eHealth Collaborative, the portal will incorporate information from the Statewide Health Information of New York (SHIN-NY) plus the state's All Payer Database. Shah also promises that all data will be interoperable so that records from different doctor's IT systems will play nice together. You won't just be able to view them either; Shah says that said data can also be plugged into third-party apps and services in case you want to manage your health in more detail.

Additionally, as part of a new New York State Immunization Information System Blue Button initiative, pediatric immunization records will be offered online to parents so that they can keep track of their child's health history, and offer it up to schools or daycare centers if needed. It's all part of a larger nationwide Blue Button initiative that calls for easier access to your health records -- the White House, Veteran Affairs, the Department of Defense and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are already on board. Of course, this is hardly the first time there've been efforts to release patient data -- previous efforts like Google Health have failed in the past. Still, there's potential here for this to take off, as long as privacy remains a top priority.

[Image credit: UIG via Getty Images]

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