Fighting for Health

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Both Microsoft and Google have
launched products designed to collect and store personal health records online:
Microsoft's HealthVault and Google Health.

Both offer online environments
where individuals can store personal records, retrieve information, select
doctors, schedule medical appointments, manage prescriptions and supplements,
communicate with providers and more.

Google recently secured a big
partnership and pilot program in eastern Washington. Inland Northwest Health
Services of Spokane and Google snagged a grant in 2008 from the Washington
State Health Care Authority to set up internet-based health records for
patients. The program, called 1HealthRecord, which also involves Heart Clinics
Northwest and Physicians Clinic of Spokane, uses Google Health accounts to
centralize personal health information. The state also funded two other trials
in smaller areas-using Microsoft's HealthVault.

Microsoft, like Google, links
arms with leading health providers. In one case, Microsoft partnered with the
Mayo Clinic and built a free online tool, the Mayo Clinic Health Manager. The
tool was developed on the Microsoft HealthVault platform, and Mayo pushes the
program as a way to "help you keep your family's health on track with personal
guidance from Mayo Clinic experts" and "make the most of your health data."

Other than benevolently putting
health information in the hands of consumers, why are these two tech giants
pouring resources into capturing consumers' health data? Simple. People search
online for health care information in huge numbers. A branded online dashboard
tied into ad-supported search results generates revenue.

The slugfest continues.
Microsoft recently acquired Andover, Mass.-based Sentillion, whose software
will supplement Microsoft's Amalga workflow application for doctors and health
care workers.

Back to "Clash of the Titans"

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