Be your own doctor, Microsoft tells consumers


10 Jun 2008

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Giving consumers easy online access to clinical information and health management tools, such as emailing your doctor and online prescription refills, could be a vital ingredient in Microsoft’s strategy going forward, it emerged last night.

Microsoft has revealed it has struck a deal with the one of the leading US health plans Kaiser Permanente to pilot health data transfers between Kaiser Permanente’s My Health Manager and the Microsoft HealthVault consumer health platform.

The pilot programme will extend the functionality of the successful Kaiser Permanente personal health record, My Health Manager. Already, My Health Manager’s more than two million users have convenient and easy online access to clinical information and health management tools, including emailing their doctor, online prescription refills and appointment scheduling.

Connecting My Health Manager to the HealthVault platform will allow users to combine personal health information from Kaiser Permanente and a wide range of health and wellness management applications and devices such as blood pressure monitors.

“Providing new ways to manage their health online is one more way we can engage consumers in their care,” said Anna-Lisa Silvestre, vice-president of online services at Kaiser Permanente. “We believe Microsoft HealthVault will be a valuable supplement to our expanding set of online features.”

HealthVault is designed to support Kaiser Permanente’s transfer of My Health Manager data in adherence with federal standards and includes advanced safeguards to help protect members’ personal information.

HealthVault is built on the principle that people should have a copy of their own health information, have control over it and have the ability to privately share information with whomever they choose in a security-enhanced environment.

HealthVault automatically imports and exports using standards that are meaningful in the healthcare industry, such as WC3 eXtensible Markup Language (XML), HL7 Continuity of Care Document (CCD), ASTM Continuity of Care Record (CCR.), Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) and Common Connectivity Device.

“We’re very pleased to work with Kaiser to deliver innovative online health services focused on improving the quality of care and the health and wellness of individuals and families,” said Peter Neupert, corporate vice-president of Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group.

“As the universe of online health applications continues to grow, people will learn how technology can empower them and their trusted providers to make the most informed decisions about their health and care.”

By John Kennedy