I had the opportunity last week to travel to Minneapolis to be a conference keynote speaker for a session on the Trends in Life Sciences.  Little did I know that I would be a walking example of the points I was about to make.

 

As I sat in Terminal C over at Logan Airport, finishing e-mails before boarding the flight, I came to a frightening realization: I left my meds at home and didn’t pack them in my bag.  I usually keep extras, but had cleaned out my bag after vacation, so there was nothing.

 

Not wanting to go a day without them, and with 5 minutes before boarding, I logged onto HealthVault, saw the details of the prescriptions in question, most notably that I had a refill due for that prescription and that the prescription was filled by CVS Pharmacy.  All the relevant information I needed was available from within HealthVault.

 

Using the link to CVS Pharmacy on the HealthVault page, I went to my account at CVS and (after logging in) chose to refill my prescription.  Ordinarily, refilling the prescription doesn’t help as it just goes back to the pharmacy where it was originally filled.  However, the CVS portal allows me to change the “store” for filling the prescription.  I chose a 24-hour CVS that was down the street from my hotel in Minneapolis and pressed send.  A confirmation e-mail tells me the prescription was sent and HealthVault showed that the prescription was pending in Minneapolis.

 

All in less than 5 minutes.  Without calling my doctor for an emergency prescription.  Without calling my insurance company for permission.  Very simple.

 

When I got to Minneapolis, it was almost anti-climactic: I walked into the CVS and picked up the prescription.  The prescription transferred perfectly.  The insurance information transferred perfectly.

 

And I watched it all happen and tracked it all from HealthVault.

 

Cool – the promise of Healthcare IT is no longer a far off “what-if”.  It is real – and here is a real, personal, example.