New Animated Video Explains How Advancements in Technology are Giving You Tools and Access to Information to Manage Your Health

Erin Poetter Siminerio | August 7, 2012

It’s time health care caught up with the way we live the rest of our lives. Technology has transformed the way we bank, shop, travel and communicate; yet, health care has lagged far behind.

ONC has posted 3:00 minute and 60-second versions of an animated video for consumers that explains how widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and other technology is helping to give the U.S. health care system a 21st Century upgrade—creating one that is smarter and more responsive to the needs of patients, their families, and their health care providers. 

Electronic Access to Your Health Information and Health Apps to Manage Your Health and Well Being

Increased adoption of EHR technology by health care professionals is reshaping health care, converting our paper medical records into digital records that can be available when and where our health information needed. At the same time, there has been an explosion in the number of consumer health applications available from 2,993 in February 2010 to 13,619 in April 2012 [i].

Although technology is becoming more widespread, adoption of this technology is low—only 10 percent of Americans have downloaded a health application on their mobile phone to manage some aspect of their health [ii]. And, despite the fact that two out of three people would consider switching to a physician who offers a way to access their medical record through a secure Internet connection, only 17 percent of Americans have ever asked their provider for electronic access to their medical record [iii].

ONC Initiatives to Motivate and Inspire Patients and Families To Use Technology

These new videos, which will be available in Spanish later in the summer, are one of several of our current efforts to help convey the benefits of health IT and other consumer e-health tools to spur patients and families to take control of their health using technology.

We are also crowd sourcing personal stories about how people are managing their health using technology  as part of the 2012 Health IT Video Contest series. The “What’s In Your Health Record Video Contest?” ( (#YourHealthRecord) was recently launched, and we are accepting video submissions through August 23. Cash prizes will be awarded to the producers of the winning videos.

We hope these efforts will ignite more conversations about the benefits of getting access to your medical record and using the information in the record, and other tools, to take greater control of your health or to help manage the care of a loved one.

Special thanks to our esteemed advisors for this project—Alexandra Drane, Eva Powell, Shirley Bergin, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, Julie Norris, Peter Basch, and Regina Holliday—who helped guide the content and style of the videos to make sure it was meaningful to the American public.

Join the Conversation and Tell Others About It!

We encourage you to watch the videos and share them with your friends and family or to embed a copy on your website. We also invite you to enter our video contest or to encourage others to do so.

ONC would also like to hear from you about how we can improve the Patients & Families section of and other resources, like the videos.

Tell us…

  • What did you think about the videos?
  • For individuals, what other materials or resources would be helpful to add to to address questions or concerns that may arise from watching the videos?
  • For organizations, what other materials or resources would be helpful to help you educate and inform your audience about ways to leverage technology to achieve better health?
  • How are you managing your health using technology?
  • Any other feedback?

For more information on health information technology, visit