Microsoft this morning officially announced the launch of its healthcare product, dubbed HealthVault. Microsoft’s HealthVault is a software and services platform aimed at helping people better manage their health information. The company’s goal is to create a suite of products to “bring the health and technology industries together to create new applications, services and connected devices that help people manage and monitor their personal health information, including weight loss and disease management, such as for diabetes.”
The site is targeting patients through the creation of personal health records and a powerful and well designed search tool. The downside, of course, is how much has be entered by patients and what could be downloaded directly from EHR systems. But, one thing at a time. Patients with chronic conditions should find these kinds of tools useful, and HealthVault is tied in with several home monitoring devices so that data can be tracked over time for patients — and physicians — to view. Data can be shared directly with physicians, which also makes your time more efficient.
There is some very cool stuff for physicians and patients at no cost or low cost. For example, a practice can create an account in HealthVault through their partnership with Kryptiq, one of the secure communication services. Give it a try, complete with sample physician and patient demos. You can have secure email with patients for such things as prescription refills and appointment requests. Think of the time saved when your staff shifts from reactive mode answering calls to a task oriented mode, scheduling time at various points in the day to deal with all emails at one time. This spills over into your time to be set aside to deal with all scrip requests in maybe two sittings a day. There are other services as well, so do your homework. Medem is one that I have written about before, and is a subsidiary of the American Medical Association.
Say what you will about Microsoft, they have spent a lot of time on this and it shows. They’ve teamed up with a number of other application providers, service companies and nonprofits for a rich source of material for the site. I poked around this morning and am impressed. From the patient’s perspective, the health information search function seems to be a well laid-out and rich tool.
Set aside some time to evaluate this product at the HealthVault website.