Microsoft has launched its personal health record platform in the UK on the Health and Lifestyle channel of the MSN network.
The HealthVault platform has been launched with gym and private healthcare operator Nuffield Health as its first partner, initially pitching the PHR concept at the health and well being market.
Members of the public can now sign up for a free secure HealthVault account. Setting up an account enables them to store personal health information, and connect readings from monitoring devices including blood pressure metres and scales.
A key feature of HealthVault is that users retain full control of their data, managing who they want to share specific data with.
The company says it plans to enable a wide range of partners and developers to use HealthVault to build new services and applications. Approved applications will be able to access data in HealthVault but not hold the data.
The first UK HealthVault ‘app’ to be launched is MyHealth Info which uses widgets developed by Nuffield Health.
John Coulthard, Microsoft’s senior director, healthcare and life sciences, told E-Health Insider that HealthVault was “the PayPal for health”.
The UK launch comes less than a week after a government-funded, independent evaluation found that the NHS’s personal health organiser, Health Space, has yet to deliver significant benefits.
The UCL study of the Summary Care Record and Health Space found little demand for the portal, and that only one in 1,000 of the patients invited to set up an ‘advanced account’ to access their SCR had done so.
However, Coulthard said people are used to using technology to control just about every aspect of their lives and that HealthVault begins to apply that same concept to healthcare.
He said that research showed that 13% of people in the UK are actively interested and engaged in looking after their ‘wellness’ but record data in different places.
“We don’t know what specific applications or widgets will be developed in the future – that’s the beauty of a model based on social innovation and an open platform – but just imagine the positive impact a citizen-centric ‘wellness’ infrastructure could have on our nation’s health,” he said.
Coulthard argued that if HealthVault can raise the number of people actively engaged in their health from 13% to 25% of the population this could translate into savings of £5 billion a year to the NHS. “That’s a huge potential saving, and the NHS doesn’t have to do anything,” he said.
Microsoft says that HealthVault will be offered free to members of the public with revenues generated through a combination of advertising and co-development fees charged to partners.
Microsoft first launched HealthVault in the US in 2007, and has focused on developing a diverse ecosystem of partners – ranging from hospital networks, pharmacies, medical device manufactures and health insurers – to build on the platform.
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Errors of transcription, omission or commission -- retaining integrity??Jean Roberts 233 weeks ago
At the US National Library of Medicine in May last year I was able to hear thought-provoking talks by Microsoft and Google on both their offerrings - both giving me concerns. Mault (of Microsoft) appeared to assure listeners the 'record created by you was controlled by you' (in what went in and who saw (selected) contents). This makes me worry about how the integrity of a rich picture of your personal health history and status is achieved and how a reader could assure themselves what they were being given permission to see was the 'whole truth'. Who would not be tempted to under-record the amount of alcohol they drank or the occurrence rates of epilepsy incidents for example if showing the record to an insurance company?? or omit something that later proved to be contextually significant to clinical decision making --- and then what if treatment proved inappropriate and patient relatives wished to go to litigation -- do the NHS records remain the core source and so why transfer material selectively - creating errors of transcription, commission and omission
Devicesfuzb 234 weeks ago
One of the big benefits I see for this kid of data aggregation site is the ability to track basic measurements automatically to incentivise the person using it to do what is appropriate to link up with other help or advice (and of course enable private or NHS providers "easy" access where appropriate).
I bought some Withings WiFi scales last year (which works with google health and healthvault US, but not UK yet) and have a lovely record of my weight and lean mass/bmi over time, it has really helped me focus on making that graph go down! and I didn't have to put in any effort in getting those results uploaded.
opt inNeilB 234 weeks ago
"if there had been any opportunity to flag up on there - or indeed anywhere else - that I actively wished to take part, not only in SCR, but also in sharing my more detailed clinical history online, then I would have signed up to it"
Why don't you read this then talk to your GP
Your GP can record your wishes right now.
You can check your summary data with your GP and between the two of you determine what additional aspects of your record you wish to upload to the SCR, if and when it goes live at your surgery.
Excellent but don't blame Healthspace for lack of takeupsalsmith766 234 weeks ago
I think this is great news, and have signed up for my account already. But - I am also a keen user of Healthspace, and if there had been any opportunity to flag up on there - or indeed anywhere else - that I actively wished to take part, not only in SCR, but also in sharing my more detailed clinical history online, then I would have signed up to it.
I am glad that Microsoft have taken the initiative, and wonder whether they share some of the same frustrations that I, and probably others, feel around the lack of pace of delivery of shared care records. Certainly this feels like they have pioneered this approach, rather than doing it in concert with the health service, but that's only from where I stand - no idea what's gone on behind closed doors.
One thing I would like to see is a side-by-side comparison of the features of HealthVault and HealthSpace, and if the latter is truly doomed, then can the former take on some of its functions, particularly around the address book functionality of HealthSpace which makes it beautifully simple to add your doctor, dentist, optician etc.
No adverts in HealthVaultgeorgescriban 234 weeks ago
We appreciate interest people are already showing in HealthVault here in the UK.
We wanted to be clear about one specific thing, though: advertising. You will never see advertising when you log into your HealthVault account. Nor will Microsoft or any third party target advertising based on the information in your account without your explicit opt-in and consent.
We want people to be confident that the information they entrust to HealthVault will only be used in the ways they intend it to be used.
GP systemsNeilB 234 weeks ago
An interesting idea, one that might catch on I feel.
Active sign up means explicit consent, and the data uploadable is of course limitless. Crucially, the patient controls what is uploaded.
Unfortunately, the only way for patients to import data from their GP record into HV is (as far as I can tell) by getting your GP to save data as a pdf/doc/txt file. It's a shame that data cant be imported into, say the immunisation section, from an xls or csv file, which might then autopopulate the fields.
Saying that, it takes but seconds (well, in EMIS anyway) to export to a pdf a fairly rich patient summary.
Need to point out our business model WILL rely on personalised advertising at some pointUnknown 234 weeks ago
This IS the holy grail for both HealthVault and Google Health
The HV Privacy principles are laid out here
Our HealthVault Privacy Principles
You control the Microsoft HealthVault record that you create.
You decide what goes into your HealthVault record.
You decide who can see, use and share your information.
Microsoft won’t use your information in HealthVault to personalise ads or services without explicit permission.
Maybe it's not an issue for many but any organisation that will serve advertising to individuals based on the content of the record will need to be trusted 100% - they know who individuals are (e-mail address) they know what conditions an individual has (contents of the PHR) they know dates and times and possibly locations and they (ythe organisation) will then have to manage the nature and content of any advertising that is served to individuals based on profiles. The nature of that advertising will have to be closely monitored for appropriateness.
I trust everyone can see why this is offered as a free service