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Kaiser To Offer Online Personal Health Records With Microsoft

Armen Hareyan's picture

Kaiser Permanente and Microsoft team up to offer online personal health records accessible from any personal computer.

Two major giants of technology and health spheres are designing a project that will enable everyone to access personal health records from any PC with internet access, to share their personal data with selected health care providers, and to make better customized choices of health care services.

A pilot project will run until November 2008 and will test personal health records of Kaiser's 156000 employees. If the project is successful, it will later expand to all members. The project is to move personal health information of members stored in Kaiser's database to Microsoft generated one and make the record accessible from anywhere.

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The new project is named 'HealthVault' and will enable every single person to transfer personal health records, such as prescriptions, allergies, immunization information, medical conditions, blood pressure, dieting and exercising schedule, from Kaiser's My Health Manager to Microsoft's database. Members will not have to type lots of health information, they will just need to use or share ready information.

Kaiser Permanente is the largest nonprofit health maintenance organization involving 8.7 million members from nine states and District of Columbia. In mid of 1990s the organization created My Health Manager, which enables members to ask questions to professionals, order prescription drugs, and make appointments online. The organization is recognized to be the most reliable and trustable, and this new initiative will even improve its reputation.

Similar initiative has already been run by Revolution Health Group and Google in February. This partnership was working with major health professionals Cleveland Clinic and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Kaiser and Microsoft partnership will work with Mayo Clinic and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Major healthcare and technology giants are working together to provide with better services to consumers. People need to be more informed about health care choices, to be able to choose the right and the most affordable healthcare services, to be able to share personal health information with health professionals of their choice, and to be more active n managing personal health.

Most people still have safety concerns about sharing their personal health data over the internet and don't feel very comfortable in personal health record database. However, the more professional companies are engaged in similar projects, the more people will trust online health databases and manage person health records online.