Your future health record will run on Meteor

Abigail Watson has created the Clinical Meteor Track, which is a set of Meteor packages for delivering health apps. This is a growing but robust toolkit that positions Meteor to be the platform powering future healthcare. :heart_eyes:

There are now several efforts afoot to use Meteor to build a Personal Health Record (PHR), which is like the EHR that your doctor uses, except designed for the patient to use. Health IT leaders have the vision that this is the real future of health information, and it makes perfect sense that we patients should have full access and control over our health info. Some groups (like me) are working on a PHR that works more like traditional social media, that we are calling a Social Health Record (SHR).

Clearly Abigail and Meteor are up to the task of creating this health information revolution. However will they succeed? We developers tend to be overly focused on building a product and assuming “users will come”. But too often they do not come. You find competition, redundancy, and millions of distractions that prevent your users from coming. :worried:

Already in Meteor’s short history, I have learned, there have been at least 3 efforts at building a PHR/SHR that have been shelved.

Our small team is close to a prototype of an open source Social Health Record we call
However, our desire is that this health information revolution succeed, not necessarily that we drive it. So we plan to join forces with the Clinical Meteor Track. I call on others involved with health records to do the same. :open_mouth: - !

Furthermore, for those of us working on our own SHR apps in Meteor, I propose it makes sense to collectively market the idea and get public comment. It is designed after all for patients so why not get their ideas. Toward this, I suggest that Meteor-based Telescope might do a great job for capturing ideas and feedback. The goal is to build and involve a community of early adopters who can inform design decisions and spread the word. And to ensure that in the end “users WILL come”.

Our mission is this: do not fail. We want a successful, Meteor-based Social Health Record to revolutionize healthcare throughout the world.
Who’s in?

Dave Donohue


Thank you so much for the kind words! :smile:

It’s great to hear from other clinicians, since the Meteor forums tend towards the tech crowd. I suspect we’re on the verge of getting a lot more activity in this area; so this is a timely discussion. And you’re absolutely correct… Meteor is fantastically positioned to be powering future healthcare applications.

Obviously, I’m all-in, and am more than happy to lend the efforts of CareWatch and Senescence towards I’ll reach out and see if I can’t get Ted and Lou (from MedBook and Gopher, respectively) to weigh in with their thoughts regarding PHRs and SHRs, and how they might be able to support a Telescope based community forum.

Also, there’s a strong argument that a SHR demo ought to be one of the demo apps of the Clinical Meteor Track. We’re currently thinking of having three demos when we release later this year: a checklist/workqueues application ala the Checklist Manifesto, a social health record based on a weblog, and a form builder for running clinical trials.

But let me reach out to Ted and Lou, and see if I can get their opinions.


Excellent @awatson1978 thanks.
We have a domain name, and a public Trello site for designing this Telescope community site. See my post here for more details.

I reached out to Ted, who’s considering his response. He’s currently researching and thinking through the idea of federated architectures, and wants to figure out his position on that before weighing in.

That is, there are a lot of independent entities that are going to be interested in a Social Health Record; and there are technical consideration of how to design scalable/interoperable systems (ATM banking networks and peer-to-peer networks as examples); as well as of business considerations on how to structure organizations and incentives that interoperate (with franchises and farm cooperatives as examples).

Speaking clinician-to-clinician, I would hazard to say that he’s thinking through what we would grossly describe as capitation, but on a systems architecture and health information exchange (HIE) level.

I’ve actually already run into this concern once before, when we had two independently formed pharmaceutical groups collaborating on a clinical trials product, and they couldn’t agree on a federated business structure. One stakeholder wanted to raise venture capital; one wanted to stay private; one wanted to remain open source as a tech collective. So probably worth giving some thought to that now…

Are you going to do the one-click deploy on Heroku?


Abigail does [FHIR][1] specify the interoperation of different medical systems? Nice suggestion on Heroku. I was lookig at hosting providers. Do you think that’s the best option right now? Where did you learn of their
1-click deploy?

Yup. It does the same thing that HL7 v2 did, which people used for decades; but with far less configuration necessary. Instead of spending $5,000 to implement a single point-to-point interface, you can expose one simple Rest API (for $500 or $1000 dollars, we’re estimating), and anybody who’s authorized can push/pull updates. We might split hairs about what ‘interoperation’ means; but it certainly specifies interconnectivity.

Heroku 1-click deployment is simply posted on the top of the homepage. :smile:

It’s that or just deploying on * That’s actually probably the easier solution.

Hi Dave, (@dpdonohue)

Could you please explain a bit what a “Social Health Record” is ? I mean I do not want my health record to go public! Pardon my inexperience.

Great question @kaiyes! Yes security & privacy is at the center. What we (and others) are building is social in that you can share with others but the important thing here is you decide who to share with and for how long. The security model is by default closed to the world. You would share on a very selective basis (like with your spouse if you desire or with one caregiver). Modern EHRs are actually way less private. If you are admitted to a hospital, typically anyone in the entire hospital system can access your chart.

Other features that a SHR shares with social websites like Facebook is the same intuitive means of posting information.

But yes need to be careful selling PHRs as “social”. Better to emphasize they are “smart”.


Hi guys,

nice to see the clinical meteor working group. I’d just like to say hi, and stay connected with all of you. We have several years of experience with medical stuff (medical startup) and are looking into meteor for our next project;

Community is the best way to start, and to contribute - please let us know of the next video/ or any other hangouts you might have. We clould also include some clinitians on board.

Great work on what you are doing - want to help and get on board with you!



Kind of like a Personal API for Health Records?

Hey @kristjan thanks for connecting. Yes let’s coordinate! If you haven’t already I recommend you introduce yourself here Clinical/Healthcare Working Group

@garrilla yes that is the right idea!

We have launched our Telescope-based community app called, here: is a place for identifying and tracking key health technologies such as devices or apps. We are are using it to catalog and prioritize our roadmap:
This speaks to the power and versatility of Telescope!

And we have grander plans still.

@decent10cs (Rashid) did a wonderful job taking Telescope and configuring it for our purposes. He even contributed 2 Telescope plugins!
(1) a jumbotron at top of landing page:
(2) a WYSIWYG editor:

Our goal with this site is to be a place to organize and preserve and prioritize any modern best practices that might improve (or even save) your life.