Microsoft Corporation has launched a new Web site in the U.S. that allows people to store their medical information online in a secure location, free of charge. That’s right – it’s from Microsoft and the site access and storage is “free.”
Known as “HealthVault,” the Web site will store a user’s medical information in an encrypted database and allow the user to control the information in the database user record as well as who can access the database information. The Web site also incorporates HealthVault Search, a specialized medical search engine that allows consumers to find health and general medical information on the Web.
The launch of this Web site could help pave the way for health care providers and companies to be able to share and link their information electronically, finally get away from physical storage of multiple copies of paperwork of patient records and speed up information needed by insurance companies to process claims, while also protecting patient data and their privacy at the same time.
Last year Microsoft purchased Azyxxi, a software system developed by a hospital to collect and display real-time patient data from a number of sources; in 2007 Microsoft purchased a start-up company that develops medical information Web search technology. Google, Inc. has also indicated that it plans to be a player on the Web in health information tools and products, but has not yet launched anything.