MyDirectives: Voicing Your Medical Wishes Via The Cloud

By Jeff Zucker, CEO,

There are some markets just ripe for disruption. Uber upended the stagnant taxi industry. The Amazon Kindle altered how we read books. With MyDirectives, we’re disrupting how you make your medical wishes known.

It’s a problem that was waiting to be solved – real time access to a person’s medical wishes and directives at the time of a health emergency, directly from them. Medical professionals can hear your voice and read your words if you’re brought into the hospital, even if you can’t speak. It helps make sure a doctor won’t treat a stranger or “a medical event,” but rather treat you! To us, that’s a breath of fresh air whose time has come… and we owe that opportunity to the cloud.

The way we see it, advance care planning is better talked about around the comfort of the kitchen table than on the operating table.

“The innovation and access that offers means that a patient’s medical wishes, healthcare priorities and important documents are available to care providers and families when they need them most,” says Dr. Bill Frist, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader.

Through digital directives that include everything from written words to audio and video messages, MyDirectives is empowering people to be confident that they’ll get their voices heard in an emergency. MyDirectives – identified as one of the best 100 sites by PC Magazine – is transforming the doctor-consumer relationship by helping you create, store, update and share legal directives 24/7, to and from anywhere in the world. You can create them from the comfort of your own home with input from your family — before you have an emergency. From there, your directives are stored in our cloud and can be shared with doctors, health plans and hospitals. Users can edit them and access them at any time from anywhere. Dr. Peter Saul, a senior intensive care specialist in Australia and Director of the Newcastle Private Hospital’s intensive care unit, says MyDirectives is “the first time I have seen a website addressing a complex issue using a truly modern, tech-savvy and consumer-oriented approach.”

Says Dr. Robert Fine, Clinical Director of the Office of Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care at Baylor Health System, “There is a strong consensus that [MyDirectives] is a significant improvement over the status quo of advance care planning, with a very high potential to improve the quantity, quality and clarity of advance care plans. Speaking personally as one who has worked closely with legislators and others to enhance advance care planning and as one familiar with a myriad of other advance care planning processes and tools across the country, I can confidently say that MyDirectives is visionary.”

In addition to changing the way people create, store and share their plans, one of our goals is to change how those plans are thought about and discussed.

None of this would be possible without the Rackspace Cloud. The data needs to be stored somewhere secure yet accessible in an instant. It’s through a networked system that we can make this information safely and securely available to medical professionals while adhering to stringent regulations in the USA (e.g. HIPAA) as well as those of many other countries around the world.

We’re doing all of this in a world of ones and zeros. For us, support is not just Fanatical, but critical. We require proactive alerts and insights from the experts. This gives us the confidence, which in turn gives our customers and clients the confidence that we’re doing right by them.

We need a hosting partner that’s a global player. We can’t be distracted by upstarts offering us a quick deal. At the same time, security for us is imperative. The healthcare industry is historically reluctant to change, and we need to inspire confidence.

Our goal is not to disrupt the technology – in fact, we’ve entrusted that to our team at Rackspace as they’ve done it time and again in industry after industry. Our goal is to disrupt the way we live by giving consumers the confidence they’ll have a voice (for real!) in their health care when they need it the most.

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