In a (somewhat) recent post on Sean Nolan’s blog, Family Health Guy, we learn that Microsoft’s HealthVault is going mobile. I think this is big news for the adoption of personal health records, or PHRs.
Privacy concerns, the difficulties associated with integrating information from the myriad of players in the health care industry and lack of better or complete standards for PHR has hampered the adoption of their use.
As one of the three top players in the PHR field, along with Google Health and Dossia, Microsoft may be in the best position to take the lead. While Dossia operates under a different model (it is a non-profit working for the benefit of its founder companies and additional employers), HealthVault and Google Health are focused mainly on the “P” in PHR – the patient or person. Microsoft’s leadership in taking the PHR mobile may be just what is needed to breakthrough and convince people that it is worth it to have a PHR, keep it up to date and use it when seeking health care.
Microsoft has also been smart, as Nolan, points out, by making sure that HealthVault works well with all of the main mobile platforms. They will soon release SDKs for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems; the SDK for Windows Phone 7 is out.
I am excited to see how quickly Microsoft’s move ushers in a new generation of innovative and deeply capable mobile health applications that take advantage of integration with one’s PHR. What’s available so far in the app stores does not address many of the shortcomings that seem to be holding back adoption of PHRs.
What do you think? Do you have a PHR? Are you still concerned about privacy issues? Will making them mobile make a difference in your thinking?