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Seniors blog

Serious apps for veterans' health records
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Craig Newmark

The Blue Button at gives vets an easy way to download their health records.

However, what’s needed is an easy way to view those records, to get ‘em to other doctors, and to add to those records.

This has to be done in a way that keep the records secure and private.

The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Health & Human Services are working with the Markle Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to get the job done. This is in the new spirit of public/private partnership.

Folks at these groups worked together in a competition to get a bunch of apps developed by private industry to support vets… and also to show what could be done for everyone.  (I want this for my own health care, which is to say, we all need this kind of thing.)

Here’s something from the winning effort, from Adobe, that illustrates the results.

Other finalists, providing more really needed function:

-  MedCommons demonstrated how veterans could create online packets of radiology images when they go for second opinions.

-  Microsoft showed how its online HealthVault platform could consume the VA data and allow it to be used in a variety of third-party applications that a patient might choose.

-  RememberItNow focused on medication reminders for veterans. 

Disclaimer: my role in the judging effort was minor, primarily I added much needed glamour to the proceedings.

Disclaimer: yes, part two of that’s a joke.

Craig Newmark is the founder of, a site where people can help each other with everyday needs including housing and jobs. The site has a culture of trust, based on shared values like “treat people like you want to be treated.”

You can reach Craig,, or

Tags   veterans, seniors, electronichealthrecord, personalhealthrecord, phr

About This Blog

Welcome to the Military Families’ PHR blog. Here, you’ll find practical tips for managing your medical information from those who have traveled the same path as you. These former service members and military spouses, all health information professionals, understand the unique challenges military families face. If you’ve wondered how to compile and ensure access to your family’s medical information across multiple time zones and through multiple moves, then you’re in the right place.

While the armed forces provide an enormous amount of structure and support, a PHR can both fill in the gaps and offer a sense of security. Taking control of your medical information is the first step to ensuring proper care, regardless of location.

Myni Vazquez, MS RHIA has more than seventeen years’ experience in Health Information Management. She has held positions ranging from director of medical records to practice manager, and has consulted for the Department of Defense. In the Education field since 2002, Myni is currently the program director of the Health Information Technology, Medical Billing Certificate, and Professional Coding programs at Central Arizona College online.

Blog Contributors

Marsha Dolan, Valerie Watzlaf, Cindy Boester, Heidi Shaffer, Julie Wolter, Margaret Hennings, Colleen Goethals, Vera Rulon, Leah Grebner, Robert Caban, Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez, Amanda Bushey, Margie Kelly, Donna DuLong, Sarah Dietze, Valisha McFarlane, Maria Kovell, Ted Eytan, Leann Reynolds, Laura Heuer, Kristin Stewart, Derek Allen, Chris Matthies, Margo Corbett, Craig Newmark, Sarah Buelterman, Skyler Tanner, Aniruddha Malpani, Joan Malling, Marilyn McFarlane, Megan Rooney, Patrick Rhone, Dr. Carrie Nelson, Maria Bouselli, Erin Jordan


PHRs do more than manage medication. Stay up to date with information that can help you communicate with your doctor and stay out of the hospital.

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