Personal health records have been defined as:
- an electronic application through which individuals can access, manage and share their health information in a secure and confidential environment
- a tool for collecting, tracking and sharing important, up-to- date information about an individual’s health or the health of someone in their care
While there is no universal agreement in these definitions, they contain broadly similar themes: focusing on data repositories that can be used to securely store and manage personal medical information. These data repositories can be further classified into three distinct sub- categories
based around their integration and communication with provider systems:
- stand-alone: solely patient-recorded and maintained
- tethered: a read-only link to an electronic medical record
- integrated: asynchronous communications to/ from an electronic medical record.