Microsoft Corp. used a forum in Washington to launch a consumer-focused, secure personal health-record platform designed to reach families in their homes, physicians in their communities and providers worldwide.
The system, called Microsoft HealthVault, combines a search engine, a private and secure database and a Web site to help individuals and families build, track and share their vital health information. The PHR is designed so that the individual decides what information goes into their PHR and who can see it. Microsoft said that it would not use the health data for commercial purposes unless first given the OK to do so.
Modern Healthcares Health IT Strategist e-newsletter first broke news of the launch Oct. 3. Peter Neupert, corporate vice president of the Health Solutions Group at Microsoft, and about a half-dozen providers and vendors today debuted the system in a slick, step-by-step way stressing its security provisions. From the beginning we have designed security into the system, Neupert said.
Deborah Peel, founder of the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation and an Austin, Texas-based psychiatrist, said the privacy protections built into the system are in line with those supported by the foundation itself. Consumers finally have a trusted place to store their personal health information that will not be data-mined, because they alone control it, she said in a statement.
While the system is free for users, physicians, health plans and others, the company said it plans to make its money back on the search applications inherent in the system and by online advertisements. -- by Matthew DoBias