Microsoft announce HealthVault

Microsoft have today launched a beta Personal Health Record called HealthVault. The New York Times have a good writeup.

It includes health search, a personal health record, and the facility to upload data from compliant devices.

I wonder what Adam Bosworth, the former Google (and former Microsoft) exec, thinks of all of this? Over the past 18 months or so, all of the talk has been of Google and its work in this area. I was less than impressed by some of the screenshots of their efforts released during the summer.

On the other hand – first impressions of HealthVault (even though I have not yet even created an account yet) are good.

Which leads me to the conclusion that I need to do some reviews of these developments. I will include in this review, a recent invite I had from Israeli based iMedix (still in closed alpha) – haven’t forgotten you guys!

Microsoft Ireland Chief appointed to HSE Board

The Health Service Executive (HSE) website  has a lot of information that one might sometimes overlook. For example, the Health Tech Blog has found over the past few months that the News Section of the site has kept well up to date with responding to sometimes unfavourable comment in the media.

Most interesting in the latest edition of the newsletter Health Matters (Winter 2005- page 20), is a small piece referring to the fact that Joe Macri, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland has been appointed to the board of the HSE. The bio note of Macri in the piece notes his time with NatWest in the UK, and technology companies in Australia. He is chair of the Small Business Formum and a member of the Management Board of ICT Ireland and the National Executive Council of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation.

I don’t know when this appointment happened – there is no reference to it under the general news heading or under board membership.

Oh – and by the way – no, I didn’t have to go through each of the 15 separate PDF documents that constitue the newsletter online (infuriating) – I managed to pick up a good old fashioned paper edition instead.

Update : The Department of Health and Children (DOHC) has a press release on the appointment, dated 3rd November.

Scoble comments on Hospital Room environment

Ok, maybe the title of this post is slightly misleading, given that the post in question is almost eight months old.

At the Health Tech Blog, I tend to keep the focus on the technology impact and improvement within the healthcare sector. But one
cannot ignore the fact that Robert Scoble – Microsoft’s best known
blogger – is on a flying visit to Ireland this week. He is in the Rebel
county for the IT@Cork event on Wednesday 30th, organised by Tom Raftery. Focus swings to a developer conference in Dublin on Thursday the 1st; ha, does this tie in with Xbox launch as well??

 
So back to the relevant point. Robert had a number of posts that asked
some fundamental questions about healthcare, and how software technologies might
help. One of these posts was was entitled Hospital room shows lots of opportunities for software industry in future

It is great to have somebody with his profile actually talking
about the sector; the fact that it was observation from a waiting
room situation is important in my mind; these were improvements that
were noted "on the fly". No, not all of them are valid, but a lot make
sense, and tie in nicely with the Medical Informatics view of the world
– electronic patient/health records, single entry of information,
system integration, business improvement. The end result should be
improved patient care.
 
These observations are equally relevant in hospital settings in
Europe. Unfortunately, some of the hopes for the use of ICT in Irish
healthcare settings has taken a fair beating over the past 6 months. We
have had PPARS and all of the ensuing controversy, which is not yet
finished. Closer to the clinical setting – in the UK, there has been
ongoing debate (particularly from the medical community) on user
involvement, patient confidentiality and consent issues with regard to
NPfIT roll out.
 
These are high profile examples, which unfortunately do not serve
the sector well. However going back to the post, it is difficult to
envisage how some of examples cited cannot form part of a modern,
technically capable, healthcare system.