The American Medical Association will add a link between its physician portal under development by Detroit-based technology vendor Covisint to be launched next year, and the HealthVault personal health-record platform offered by Microsoft Corp., the AMA announced today.
The AMA and Covisint announced in April that they had teamed up to pilot test a portfolio of Web-based services to physicians, including electronic prescriptions, reference databases and access to online continuing medical education. According to the announcement today, the AMA plans to launch the portal nationally in early 2010. Covisint is a subsidiary of Compuware Corp. Both are based in Detroit.
The Microsoft deal would provide patients using HealthVault another avenue to connect with those physicians who use the AMA portal. HealthVault already allows connectivity between patients and physicians who have Internet access and to whom patients have granted access to their PHR.
Having ready access to patient information can help physicians make treatment decisions and reduce the time spent gathering this information resulting in more face-to-face time with patients, said AMA President-elect James Rohack, in a news release. The addition of Microsofts HealthVault on our AMA portal will enable patients using HealthVault to share more comprehensive health information with their physicians.
At deadline, an AMA spokesperson had not responded to questions about the financial side of the relationship between Microsoft and the medical society over the HealthVault agreement or whether it was an exclusive deal between the AMA and Microsoft that precluded a similar arrangement with Microsoft rival PHR provider Google.
Google, which offers its Google Health PHR platform, and Microsoft have been battling it out for more than a year to ink alliances with high-profile healthcare organizations.
Meanwhile, both IT companies have caught flak from privacy advocates over their responses to the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and their apparent attempts to stiff-arm recent efforts by Congress via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to regulate the new and growing PHR market.