The race is on. Microsoft and Google have launched their respective electronic medical record (EMR) programs, and itâ€™s going to be interesting to see which tech giant will get the edge on the platform.
In the last week, both camps announced partnerships with some pretty big names in the EMR worlds. Microsoft has teamed up with Kaiser Permanente and Google has signed Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts to provide users the ability to import their EMRs directly into the program.
Pharm Exec asked Microsoftâ€™s Director of Business Development Nate McLemore a few questions about HealthVault and how it will work with Kaiserâ€™s network.
How did the partnership with Kaiser come about?
Microsoft and Kaiser are two leaders in online health innovationâ€”Microsoft as the worldâ€™s leading software provider and developer of the HealthVault platform, and Kaiser as the largest HMO in the US and developer of the successful PHR, My Health Manager. It made great sense to partner and use technology to empower people to make informed decisions about their health and care.
How does this partnership benefit patients?
This partnership gives patients in the pilot program greater power and knowledge over their own medical records. Under the program, patients who use Kaiser’s My Health Manager will be able to transfer medical dataâ€”including prescriptions, allergies, immunization information and medical conditionsâ€”from My Health Manager to their Microsoft HealthVault accounts. In addition to accessing such personal health information, by connecting My Health Manager to HealthVault, users will be able to access a wide range of health and wellness management applications, and devices such as blood pressure monitors.
How can pharma take advantage of a tool like HealthVault, either through health information or paid advertising?
We donâ€™t have, and never plan to have, paid advertising on HealthVault. However, our primary business model is built around Search advertising, so pharma companies could take advantage of getting their information out through LiveHealth Search. In addition, pharma companies are creating condition-specific sites on top of HealthVault to help drive consumer education, engagement, and adherence.
The media seems to be making a big deal out of the alliances Microsoft and Google are making with external data providers like Kaiser. Is that just press blowing steam, or is there an effort to get the best partners before they go to the other side?
Transforming healthcare is an incredibly complex challengeâ€”one that no single organization can solve alone. The more organizations focused on solving the challenge, the more society as a whole will benefit. HealthVault is an open platform, and we are excited about Google and others joining this space and making their offerings HealthVault compatible. This isnâ€™t Google vs. Microsoft. This is Microsoft and Google against paper. Itâ€™s about Microsoft delivering on its vision of delivering true consumer empowerment through data liquidity and innovation in health tools and resources.