Our unification strategy for PHRs can bring surprising and powerful benefits not possible with traditional PHRs. For example, unifying record storage and retrieval across national and Point-of-Care systems (e.g. centralized and decentralized systems) simultaneously opens up pathways that can link national systems to personal systems, and can overcome GDPR and other privacy issues, especially with biometrics. For example, biometrics can be under the custodianship of the patient, while a lab test result can remain under the custodianship of the State.

Similarly, unifying record storage and retrieval between patients and health workers means a health worker can write directly into the patient’s storage, and patient privilege can be used as a pathway between different practitioners. It also means there are still many impactful use cases even if either the patient or the health worker doesn’t have an app or phone.

Personal Health Records

Unifying methods of record storage and retrieval whether over minutes, days or years enables the same approach to be used for tracking within clinics to optimize workflow over the course of the day, as well as to easily retrieve records to reduce expensive retesting and to address loss to follow-up over months or years.


As an example, the images here show SmartHealth Receipts that both a patient or clinic can keep like a favorite family photo, typically one for each health issue that they wish to keep separate, either printed on paper, or stored digitally in the many free digital storage services available today. The patient can then show a health worker the SmartHealth Receipts of their choice and their longitudinal information for the relevant health issues, including from other health workers or lab test results, can be retrieved securely using permissioning of the patient’s choice.

Latest QR Recepit.jpg

Unifying disease models that are geographically precise at the patient and village level based on instantaneous, real-time data, together with disease models that focus on larger geographies and longer-term trends, such as those developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), enables surgical interventions for diseases like malaria that requires both real-time tactical responses based on disease outbreaks as well as strategic responses that focus on regional resource allocation and long-term disease eradication [Mundel & Suzman].

As a final example, unifying record storage and retrieval over different use cases and different health verticals enables solutions that can scale cost-effectively, rather than require many independent solutions, and also enables solutions that work best by leveraging information across health verticals, for example, addressing malaria in the context of an MNCH workflow [Hellewell et al.] [van Eijk et al.].

A PHR system, based on the SmartHealth Platform, is now being deployed at the Chronic Care Clinic in Johannesburg run by Ezintsha, a newly formed sub-division of Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute, which is part of the University of the Witwatersrand, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.