As a physician, I know how important it is to have access to my patient's health information. As a patient, I know how frustrating it is to have my health information scattered across multiple doctors, ambulatory clinics and hospitals. As a care manager for my elderly parents, I've experienced firsthand how difficult it is to keep track of their doctor appointments, medications, and medical problems.
Today, in Washington, D.C., Microsoft is announcing a new tool that will begin to bring order to this chaos. It's called HealthVault; an environment of new online services to help people SEARCH, STORE and CONNECT their health information, putting them in control of their, and their family’s health and wellness.
HealthVault, designed with security and privacy in mind, is built on the principle that people should have a copy of their own health information, have control over it, and be able to share their information with whomever they choose. I think many people are going to proclaim, "It's about time!".
Using HealthVault, people will be able to store and control an array of health information, including prescription medication lists, health histories, hospital discharge summaries, lab results, fitness data and search results.
In addition to being a place to securely store and share personal health information, people can also use HealthVault to access and put to practical use a variety of new health services and home health medical devices.
Microsoft HealthVault Connection Center will make it possible for people to upload health-related data, such as that taken from blood-pressure cuffs, heart rate monitors, blood glucose monitors and peak flow meters. The technology is straightforward and makes it easy to confidently share health information with family, caregivers or physicians. With the support of partners that will develop these services and devices, Microsoft has committed to a platform that is free to consumers, inclusive of industry standards and trusted through robust privacy and security safeguards.
Speaking of privacy and security, I know that nothing is more important when it comes to your personal health information. The HealthVault platform is underpinned by the following clear, strong health privacy commitments:
- The Microsoft HealthVault record you create is controlled by you.
- You decide what goes into your HealthVault record.
- You decide who can see and use your information on a case by case basis.
- Microsoft does not use your health information for commercial purposes unless you are asked and you clearly tell Microsoft they may.
Rest assured, we know that transforming healthcare is an incredibly complex challenge – one which no single organization can solve alone. It will require the participation of leaders in every sector of the healthcare ecosystem if success is to be achieved. However, with Microsoft's broad customer reach, extensive software platform and broad partner community, we believe that we have the depth and breadth required to help transform the way people and providers connect with health information and services.
You can learn more about today's launch of HealthVault by clicking on this video clip with Microsoft Health Solutions Group Corporate VP, Peter Neupert and Dr. Deborah Peel, founder of the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation.
I'm pleased to announce that more than 40 other innovative organizations – from leading medical providers, health management device manufacturers, and national health agencies are embarking with us on this challenge to bring the health industry into the Internet age. We invite the rest of the health industry to join us.
Bill Crounse, MD Worldwide Health Director Microsoft Corporation