Designed largely to accelerate medical product development and get new medications and treatments through the development process faster, the 21st Century Cures Act is a significant piece of legislation that Congress passed in 2016.
Some of its provisions are also meant to empower patients with more information about their own health. The ONC Cures Act Final Rule in particular — which will go into effect in April of this year — says that providers must make patients’ electronic health records (EHRs) available to them. This means that data is unequivocally going to be in the hands of patients. It means better care for patients, but it also means that a whole new set of services and innovations will be possible.