Patient portals are used extensively in the health care industry as of 2015, with major users including the U.S. Veteran's Administration, Kaiser Permanente and Aetna. Many individual doctors also use this technology, though adoption tends to lag behind larger organizations such as insurers and hospital systems.
Patient portals are useful for allowing patients to access medical records at any time, theoretically eliminating the need for calls or visits to a provider for routine test results or history requests. Some portals allow patients to ask health care questions online as well. Despite their potential advantages, some studies have found less than 10 percent of patients utilize patient portals on a regular basis.