Universal Patient Record

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT hosted the third interoperability forum on August 21st and 22nd in Washington, DC.

At the conference, FDA principal deputy commissioner and acting CIO Amy Abernathy, M.D., shared that the agency is working with a variety of stakeholders to develop a universal unique medical device identifier that will be store in EHRs to improve device surveillance. This is a step in the right direction, and will certainly help with law suits and FDA’s Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database, but to us it begs the question: where is the unique identifier system for patients?

At Ekta, we believe that the health care system is ripe for technology innovations to improve patient outcomes by converging focus, prototyping and de-risking a universal patient record business concept using our structured Design Thinking process and rapid prototyping lab.

The health care system in the U.S. is massively overburdened and underdelivering for the patient. A crux of the problem is interoperability across disparate systems which come into play at various points in a patient’s journey. Patient record data is typically stored in disparate systems which may or may not be able to communicate that data with each other at the right time, and to which the patient themselves have limited access and control.

Health Care Cards Should Be More Like Credit Cards

There is a conceptual framework that already works in banking – the credit card. Most Americans have a credit card in their wallet, and all their personal information is encoded on the magnetic stripe or chip embedded in the card. When the payer is ready, they scan their card and an exchange of data is made which allows for a sensitive financial contract to happen.

In contrast, most Americans also have a health card in their wallet, but there is no information encoded on it. Rather, it typically contains printed information such as member number and deductible amounts. Perhaps one of the reasons behind this is that financial transactions can be determined based on easily quantifiable financial risk; on the other hand, the risk of misidentifying a patient or losing control of PHI is much more difficult to gauge.

However, given all the advancements in identity management, trust delegation, and web-based data exchange protocols this level of interoperability is within reach.

Accelerated Concept-to-Market With the Ekta Way

With the Ekta Way, we can use design workshops focused on Design Thinking develop concepts, identify risks and test product-solution fit with prototypes that focus on the specific needs of health care interoperability. We follow that with market validation and then go to market with a few core pilot programs. We have proven success in applying the Ekta Way to a variety of projects across the technology landscape. 

The time is right to work toward greater interoperability in health care records and information, with the result being a true Universal Patient Record.

To learn more about Ekta, The Ekta Way, or health care interoperability, contact hello@ekta.co or visit our website, ekta.co

About Ekta

Ekta is a unique hybrid of energetic, creative, and experienced tech-lovers. This blend makes it possible for us to understand and connect your vision with the right tools, which is the heart of our success.

We are here to understand you and your mission and put technology to work for that aim. Whether it’s getting a hold of your data, cybersecurity, product development, systems engineering, or artificial intelligence, our team can help you put the right tools in place. 

James Barkley

James Barkley


Ekta is a Chicago-based company providing custom technology consulting and software development services.



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