February 24, 2010

Microsoft Health Vault and the Gov?

MS announced today along with the Man that they were going to be in partnership together with HealthVault.  You can read the press announcement here.  Normally, you wouldn’t find a bigger Microsoft fanboy than myself, but I have to question the wisdom of this partnership on two fronts, both personal, not technical.

  1. I’m not necessarily opposed to story the complete medical history in electronic format.  In fact, it could very well be that such a solution would go a long way toward reducing medical costs.  Just imagine the reduction in errors and dead trees if all of my medical life was stored online.  However, I’m not convinced this should be the purview of a for profit business like Microsoft (or Google for that matter which has their own competing product).  Were it to be the purview of anyone, I would think the government directly or a non-profit.
  2. I don’t know if it is a good idea that the federal government provide such an endorsement of a product in the private sector by partnering in a manner like this.  While I am 100% certain that HHS will get adequate assurances of privacy and integrity from Microsoft, the Health Vault service is not compatible with Google’s thing, which could be seen as some as another lock in when the administration is making great strides to have an open system of data records (think data.gov).

Anyways, interesting story, huge win for MS but not so sure it’s a good idea.