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Keywords:

  • organization of information

The existing literature in relation to electronic personal health records (PHRs) has typically focused on the discussion of several key issues—namely, their design, functional evaluation, privacy, security and architecture. The benefits of PHRs and barriers preventing their adoption are also widely discussed. These issues are affected by technology infrastructure, and current and planned technology infrastructure deployment will be key determinants in the selection and design of PHR architectures. Assumptions about the community-wide deployment of required technologies such as hardware and internet accessibility are implicit in the architectural selection of PHRs and these dependencies have not been fully appreciated or addressed in the existing literature. This review article introduces and describes two infrastructural drivers—ubiquitous technology baseline for PHRs and connectivity coverage—and examines their inter-relationships with the selected PHR architectures. Eleven functional capabilities are also described, providing a basis for the analysis of the relationships between the two infrastructural drivers and architectural selection.