Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, February 15, 2016

TapGenes -- Winner of the Innovator Challenge at #RootsTech 2016 won $45,000 in cash and prizes to win the annual Innovator Showdown at #RootsTech 2016. Here is quote from the announcement from FamilySearch.
In front of a crowd of close to 10,000 live and online viewers, the six RootsTech Innovator Showdown finalists battled for $100,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights in the rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar family history industry. TapGenes was awarded $20,000 in cash and $25,000 in-kind prizes. 
TapGenes provides the tools to identify the genetic thread that ties a family together. Founder, Heather Holmes, got the idea for TapGenes after her father became very ill and the family struggled with multiple roadblocks to share his family medical history that impacted his treatment, care, and recovery. Heather made it her mission, if her father got well, to make sure this kind of frightening and desperate episode would not be faced by other families.
The concept of providing a secure, accessible place for personal, private medical information should have been already common, however the idea of involving the entire family is innovative. The effectiveness of this type of approach would seem to revolve around the willingness of the family members to share some of their medical history. I am very well acquainted with the information that is available about my ancestors' health and the causes of the deaths where that is available, but none of this information is specific enough to be of much help to the medical community. There are probably families out there where this type of information would be available and shared by family members.

What would be really helpful, would be a way to get the doctors, Medicare, the hospitals and insurance companies to cooperate and allow individuals to have access to an electronic copy of all of their medical, dental and other types of records and reports. My personal medical records, with very few exceptions, are scattered among dozens of doctors and hospitals where I have been treated over the years. In addition, my dental records are not at all integrated into my medical records and those are also located in several different dental offices. Every time I go to a new doctor, that doctor has to listen to me and get my "medical history" from scratch and I might not even know most of the details. I can't even view some of my own records and my wife can never view them due to the current HIPAA requirements. I have actually been prevented from seeing or copying my own records until I complied with complicated HIPAA requirements.

I seldom get lab results directly and even when I do, I am not sure what they mean without an explanation from the doctor, which, by the way is not always forthcoming.

I applaud this beginning in the search for an adequate medical reporting system, but there is a long way to go before this makes medical information freely available to the patients and recorded in a way that any new doctor will have the entire medical history. We recently had a situation in our neighborhood where a lady was being treated for arthritis in her leg until the pain got so great, the doctor sent her for an MRI scan and found a huge cancerous tumor. She had a previous history of cancer and this should have been something that was picked up earlier. Perhaps a record of her medical history would have hastened the discovery of the cancer? is an interesting start and approach to this problem.

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