The latest PHR (personal health record) has become available to people covered under UnitedHealthcare insurance policies.

United Healthcare announced this month that it has developed the “Blue Button” tool so that people can download their personal information.  With the click of a button on the website, one can access the tool. This will be open to 12 million members of the employer-based plans by the year’s end. The number will extend to greater than 26 million people covered under UnitedHealthcare by mid-2013.

UnitedHealthcare’s initial launch created availability to 500,000 policy holders with the Health Plan of Nevada ( a subsidiary).

The Blue Button Tool is modeled after the one started by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2010 where veterans could exchange their health data and access the information.  The VA project has spread to the private sector.

Should you feel that your PHR information should be separate from the insurance company that provides you coverage, you can still access and become involved in Microsoft’s HealthVault.  This is a free PHR and security is high because no identifier information such as your name, address or social security number is attached to the record.

If you still have discomfort in having the information “out there” online, you can create your own PHR and then download it onto a bracelet with a USB port (medical alert bracelet) so that in the case of emergencies, the EMTs and ambulance can access your health data to better help you.

A list of questions and categories to answer for your health safety can be found in “Power to The Patient: The Medical Strategist” and a copy is accessible either through or

If you have any questions about initiating a PHR, I would be happy to answer them. Comment below.