Microsoft, Mayo Clinic Launch Online E-Health Records Service - InformationWeek

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Healthcare // Electronic Health Records

Microsoft, Mayo Clinic Launch Online E-Health Records Service

Mayo Clinic Health Manager is Microsoft's bid to get consumers to tap into its HealthVault platform for managing personal health records online.

The Mayo Clinic and Microsoft are unveiling to consumers free online personal health records that provide customized health recommendations based on patients' medical conditions.

The new Mayo Clinic Health Manager is built on Microsoft's HealthVault Web-based personal health record platform, which Microsoft unveiled in 2007.

The release of Mayo Clinic Health Manager is considered Microsoft's big splash for mass-market consumers to begin tapping into HealthVault's tools for collecting and managing their personal health records online, said George Scriban, senior global strategist for Microsoft's consumer health platform.

Since HealthVault debuted about two years ago, nearly 100 third-party application developers, device makers, and health care providers have also forged HealthVault-related partnerships with Microsoft.

That includes a pilot involving the nation's largest health maintenance organization, Kaiser Permanente. That alliance, however, as well as other HealthVault partnerships with health care providers, is aimed at a specific group of consumers: the health care provider's own patients.

To date, only an unspecified number of Kaiser Permanente employees are participating in the test program to allow data to be shared between Kaiser Permanente's My Health Manager and HealthVault records.

Under the partnership between Mayo and Microsoft, however, a much broader audience of consumers is being aimed at, regardless of where they receive their health care. Users can create online Mayo Clinic Health Manager personal health records for themselves and family members using HealthVault as the platform to enter, collect, and manage their health information.

Mayo Clinic Health Manager includes a rules-based engine that triggers Mayo Clinic health recommendations and reminders to patients based on the information that's contained in their Mayo Clinic Health Manager record.

"We developed the clinical protocols and Microsoft wrote the rules software," said Nicole Spelhaug, the Mayo Clinic's senior director of consumer products. Nonprofit Mayo Clinic has been offering health information and content to consumers for years via a variety of media, including books, newsletters, and videos, as well as its site launched in 1995, she said.

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