New Technology Makes It Easier for Patients to Contribute to Research | Connecticut Public Radio

New Technology Makes It Easier for Patients to Contribute to Research

May 11, 2016

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine are launching new technology that will allow patients to access their medical records and take a more active role in their own healthcare. 

Hugo is a secure cloud-based digital platform that will enable people to access their health records whenever and wherever they want. It will also give patients the ability to do things like participate in studies, make it easier to get a second opinion, and contribute to medical research on their own terms.

"This is going to, I believe, unleash a whole new era of medicine, " said Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at Yale and one of the developers of Hugo.

"We’re going to create the possibility of really detailed, longitudinal databases that follow people over time," said Krumholz. "Plus, even when you’re going to see your doctor there may be data that you’ve generated that now is part of your record that can help inform the doctor. So as a clinician, I should be equipped with more information." 

According to Krumholz, patients will be able to pull their records over from multiple health care systems and sources, like wearable devices and questionnaires, and synchronize them in a single platform. 

"The ultimate thing here is to be able to collate data faster, give people the power over the permissions of who gets to use it, and then put ourselves in a position -- we researchers and those of us interested in learning -- to be able to propel the health care system faster and better," he said.

Until now, it’s been difficult for patients to access all of their health records, let alone share them with doctors, Krumholz said.

Hugo is designed to make that process easier.

The first research study that will use Hugo will examine hospital readmission rates and emergency department use after a hospital discharge.