Microsoft Opens Up The HealthVault
At first it was Steve Case's Revolution Health, now it's Microsoft time to claim the online heath turf. The software giant launched HealthVault, a new service that allows users to manage their health information online.
October 5, 2007
“Microsoft is committed to helping turn a fragmented healthcare system into an integrated and informed network of providers and consumers”, said Health Solutions Group head Peter Neupert. “At the heart of the healthcare process are people. If you are a provider we are focused on empowering you to make the best decisions about patient care. If you are an administrator, we are focused on empowering you to make the best decisions about quality measures. And if you are a consumer, we are focused on empowering you to make the best decisions about lifestyle changes.”
The search engined on the site is based on Micorsoft's Live Search technology and is supposed to help the user find HealthVault-compatible services. Still, curiously enough, Microsoft chose not to associate it with its Windows Live branding.
While it may sound good in theory, it remains to be seen if customers will be willing to let Mcirosoft handle their medical and personal information. Officially, the customer will be able to choose what data can be seen, as well as who can see it. Furthermore, Microsoft claims that it would use the customer's personal information for three purposes only:
- to provide with important information about the Service, including critical updates and notifications
- to send the HealthVault e-mail newsletter (optional)
- to determine age and location to help determine if the user qualifies for an account.
Taking medical record to the online realm is indeed an important step. Hopefully, it will be made with the right foot.