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HealthVault 101

by Vince Kuraitis

Are you struggling to get your arms around Microsoft’s latest PHR platform — HealthVault? (note that it’s a “PHR platform”, NOT a PHR!).

Avoid the mistakes I made in trying to understand HealthVault (HV) by reading my blog posting on e-CareManagement:

Microsoft’s HealthVault: User Manual = C-, Strategy to Create a New Ecosystem = A

Here are the highlights:

 1) HV is Confusing.  What is it?

2) A Narrow View — It’s a PHR Platform

3) A Somewhat Broader View — HV is a Platform for Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Data

4) An Even Broader View — HV Begins to Create a New Ecosystem for the Appropriate, Free Flow of Interoperable and Transportable Personal Health Information (PHI)


  Jeff O’Connor wrote @ October 8th, 2007 at 9:29 am


Talk about confusion: when I first accessed the site upon announcement of its release, I was redirected to the Live.com health search vertical once I had logged-in to HealthVault. I didn’t really look at the site again until this morning, and was shocked to find out that it was more than a secured online bookmarking tool.

I plan making a series of posts about my experience with the tool as I use it to use it to store my own PHI and amass my own collection of health and wellness-related bookmarks (which I already do with del.icio.us).

I’ve asked the company I work for to help me with this as there are IT professionals and healthcare practioners here who are better able to evaluate HealthVault’s end-to-end functionality and current usefulness than I can by myself - especially since, as you point out, it’s a PHR/EMR platform, and not a PHR/EHR in and of itself.

  Peter Lucash wrote @ October 8th, 2007 at 12:03 pm

I blogged on HealthVault on Friday and today at Medical Practice Busienss Blog. I agree with several writers, including Messrs. Koraitis and O’Conner above. But maybe the sheer weight and influence of Microsoft and their partners will lend credibility to the concept of people taking more control of their health information. This may also be the “tipping point”, if I may borrow a lurking cliche, that brings more people and companies to the concept of personal health records.

PHRs are not a panacea for health care costs or anything else. They are a tool, and people will be getting on board as the tools become readily accessible and as word of mouth spreads. The search function I found to be good on a quick look last week.

I’d put bets on the concept, and I think we’ll see this evolve of the next few years. The pressure is on, employers are on board and will help push the concept. HealthVault is one tool, and will prove to be a big one over time.

Peter Lucash
All Business.com Blogger

  Vince Kuraitis wrote @ October 8th, 2007 at 11:44 pm

Jeff, Since HV is a PHR platform, my guess is that many users will never have a direct experience with HV. They will be signed up by Microsoft’s application partners, and their user interface will be the partners, not Microsoft’s. It’s possible (likely?) that people will never think about the fact that they are using HV — the consent could well be buried in a license agreement through an application partner (or even through care providers!), not necessarily a conscious choice made by patients.

Peter, yes, I expect that employers and government will be very supportive. Health plans will have mixed reactions.

  Warren Todd wrote @ October 12th, 2007 at 2:19 am

Microsoft’s Announcement of PHR [and more] IT Platform. Tipping Point or Tripping Point?

Watching the “development” of electronic connectivity of healthcare has been a bit frustrating….lots of $$$ but looking like a three-ring circus. To me the Microsoft announcement was very encouraging and represents another example of how private industry in the United States can serve as a catalyst for change even in areas that typically may look like they need governmental support. The pressure/need for more electronic connectivity has been building exponentially as the tsunami of aging and unhealthly lifestyles continues to threaten our economic future. A simple “frequency” analysis of the reaction to the Microsoft announcement clearly indicates that we are all very hopeful….and perhaps even encouraged by a model that has been extremely successful in the past. Kudos to Microsoft…….watch now for accelerated “action” from the other players.

My sense is that we are actually reaching a “tipping point”….and not a “tripping point.” Forever the optimest. See other good news on healthcare connectivity in the latest issue of the IDMA e-Report. [http://www.magnetmail.net/Actions/email_web_version.cfm?publish=newsletter&user_id=IDMA&message_id=375666]

Bottom-line, I believe that we may now have some critical mass in the works.

[…] watching Google and Microsoft developments into the healthcare arena. Just a few weeks ago, both Vince and I reported on Microsoft’s new HealthVault product. Fred also had a nice post on […]

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