Dossia Unveiled

Applied Materials, BP America, Inc., Intel Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Inc. and Wal-Mart, which have 2.5 million employees combined, announced today their decision to fund “an independent nonprofit institute to develop ‘Dossia,’ a Web-based framework through which U.S. employees, dependents and retirees can maintain lifelong personal health records.” Information Week explains that

Dossia will have at its core a series of federated databases being developed by a member-company funded non-profit organization called the Omnimedix Institute. To begin with, Omnimedix will build between five and seven databases around the country. Once an employees joins the system and enters some personal information, the system will automatically supplement the data with records from outside sources like hospitals, insurance claims, and physicians, so one database would house insurance claims data, another lab results and so on. Once the databases are built, the cost of adding incremental patients is expected to be pennies.

Computerworld adds that

Dossia is based on the Connecting for Health Common Framework, a set of design and policy standards developed by consumer advocacy groups, physician groups, insurers and privacy organizations, [Omnimedix CEO J.D.] Kleinke said. Each of the founding members is contributing a “seven-figure” sum to Omnimedix to help set up the system, Barrett said. In the future, the group expects to add additional employers and government participants who would pay a per-user fee to participate in the program, he added. In February, the founding members plan to announce additional companies that have joined the effort, [Intel Corp. CEO Craig] Barrett said.