Electronic health records (EHR) are right up there at the top of the list of hot health technology topics, along with flexible sensors, telemedicine, and machine learning biometric sensor data analysis algorithms. We’ve written about a wide range of EHR-related applications including Google Glass apps that discretely display EHR data, cyber threats to vulnerable EHR storage, and the use of electrical heartbeat signature protection for EHR access.

Backpack Health has a new twist on electronic health records. Backpack EHRs start with the individual, not a healthcare organization or medical group. Individuals in the past have worn bracelets or pendants that alert responders and others to medical conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy, to allergies, and to blood type, but comprehensive personal medical records are a relatively new development. Individuals can choose a free Backpack Health Basic plan or a Pro Plan that costs $0.99 a month or $9.99 a year. With the Basic plan, members can store, share, and access their own information offline or via the Internet, iOS, or Android devices. Basic plan members can add profiles and co-manage loved ones’ profiles and control access to different types and levels of information. For example, emergency information is most accessible, but medical test results are assigned greater privacy. With the Pro plan, all Backpack Health data can be translated into multiple languages plus you can upload and store up to 50 GB of relevant files, videos, images, and documents. Backpack Health has EHR plans for organizations such as foundations, drug and device developers, and advocacy groups. The Organization Plans include access to consented, de-identified, aggregated data. Industry plans allow drug and device developers to recruit patients for product development and to make it easy to collect up-to-date data.

The success of BackPack Health’s personalized EHR system will lie in the scale of consumer acceptance and in the acceptance and use of the data by healthcare providers. Affinity groups such as the Oscar Mike (O.M.) Foundation, a non-profit association that helps injured veterans stay active, use Backpack Health to create, update, and manages patient profiles. Whether this will lead to widespread adoption of Backpack Health’s personal-information records system remains to be seen.