Microsoft trials medical record system

Microsoft trials medical record system

Microsoft's HealthVault offers the chance to store all your medical information in one place - but is it a good thing?

If you're still unconvinced by turning your medical records over to the friendly giant that is Google, you've now got another option – the not-so-friendly behemoth known as Microsoft.

Obviously in a 'manic' phase of its congenital copy-everything-Google-does cycle, the Redmond-based monolith has announced the launch of a pilot scheme for its HealthVault medical records management service. According to BetaNews, the test will involve the records present in Oakland-based healthcare organisation Kaiser Permanente existing electronic system being sucked into the 'cloud-based' HealthVault storage system created by Microsoft.

So far, so Google: the criticisms levelled at the search giant back in February are just as valid now Microsoft wants a bite of the sick people pie, and perhaps the most worrying fact is that it won't be us who decides the winner in this rapidly-growing market – that will be decided by the healthcare companies themselves, based on who can offer them the best return on investment. Say what you like about Microsoft, they've never knowingly priced themselves out of a new market.

Peter Neupert, corporate vice-president of the Health Solutions Group arm of Microsoft, is hoping that consumers can see past the media-led image of Microsoft being an unfriendly aloof corporate entity, claiming that the company has “really had to think through the privacy issues, the security, issues, the trust issues” and believes that the company “could be an effective custodian” of your medical data.

While I'm all for the integration of improved information management systems into the healthcare industry – and it must be remember that in the US healthcare is an industry, and one which generated an estimated $2.26 trillion in turnover last year – I'm still not convinced that this is best managed by opening all our most private details to third-party corporations, and least of all to companies around whom hover constant worries as regards their commitment to our right to privacy.

What's your take on this – would you rather trust your medical data to Google or Microsoft? Perhaps you'd rather the pair of them kept their digital noses out of your health history? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Mentai 16th June 2008, 11:27 Quote
Google for sure. Too my knowledge, they haven't been evil yet. Microsoft certainly has been in the past.
Shielder 16th June 2008, 11:37 Quote
Would you really want your medical history held [str]to ransom[/str] by MS? Also, how much security will MS have to put in place to make the stuff secure?

whisperwolf 16th June 2008, 11:59 Quote
Quite frankly they can both keep those noses away from my medical data. In fact any company that doesn't keep my data in a secured cabinet in a locked vault can keep away from my medical data. People’s medical information is a goldmine for unscrupulous insurance companies, employers, and even to a degree ill-informed homophobic "political" groups. I most certainly wouldn't want Microsoft anywhere near it with their record of security and I just have an image of getting several adverts for Paracetamol when I surf the web to trust Google with the data either.
amacieli 16th June 2008, 12:00 Quote
You prefer the *government* to know all about you? You cannot be serious!
Timmy_the_tortoise 16th June 2008, 12:09 Quote
I think I'll leave my medical records in the hands of the NHS, thank you.
<A88> 16th June 2008, 12:12 Quote
No surprise to see that yet another article is playing the assumptive 'MS ripped off Google' card again, despite Healthvault actually being active a good few months before Google Health was. I've used the service a bit just to research medical conditions and found it quite useful- unlike a lot of the Live services it's actually nicely designed and definitely on par with the competition. That said, I haven't used it to store any medical information because it requires an uber-strong password for my account which I'd no doubt forget.
whisperwolf 16th June 2008, 12:13 Quote
Originally Posted by amacieli
You prefer the *government* to know all about you? You cannot be serious!

If that’s to me, then no, why would not wanting Microsoft or Google to have my data mean I want the government to have it, My GP can store that data thanks very much, off line and not connected to any network if it has to be digital. And the rest of the NHS can request a copy from the GP with my permission only. If I had an allergy to any drugs or other information critical to emergency procedures I would agree to only that information being held by the NHS.
pendragon 16th June 2008, 18:37 Quote
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
I think I'll leave my medical records in the hands of the NHS, thank you.

you're aware that while they don't own the data, private companies have access to this information too, right?
adamsmith06 23rd October 2008, 06:32 Quote
I think there is no problem with Google, its totally secure...
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