Electronic health records are supposed to play a pivotal role in the Obama administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative which hopes to collect data from a million or more volunteers, serving as part of a national research cohort. But, according to Anne Wojcicki, CEO of direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe, self-reported data has more value than EHRs.

“We all talk about EHRs as the gold standard. But we overwhelmingly love self-report data,” Wojcicki told an April 29 workshop held by the National Institutes of Health’s Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group, formed to help develop the national research cohort of participants. “If anything, EHRs are an incredible amount of work to clean up. We’ve done head-to-head studies on EHRs versus self-reported data and it’s a lot of work.”

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