HealthVault is a Microsoft-branded application that is meant to be a repository for user's to store theirs and their family's health information in a single, reliable place. Users can get rid of the notebook and store their family's medical record numbers, track prescriptions and notate any allergies or chronic conditions. HealthVault helps busy families stay organized and prepared in case of emergencies by storing all of their health information in a secure online platform. Additionally, HealthVault has partnered with many health-centric applications in order to offer extra services to their members as well. Examples of these value-added services include tools from American Diabetes Association or the Mayo Clinic Health Manager. The HealthVault application and its other offerings and features is a sophisticated approach to managing and sorting health care information and making such information accessible to patients.
On October 4, 2007, the Washington-based, tech giant company, Microsoft, launched a new product called HealthVault. HealthVault is both patient- and provider-facing. In June 2010, Microsoft launched HealthVault for the United Kingdom. When Google discontinued its Google Health services in June 2010, they recommended that their users subscribe to HealthVault. Since Google Health shut down, HealthVault is now considered the biggest player in the online health information niche of applications. HealthVault has been described by Microsoft as a piece of their broader vision. HealthVault is a sort of catalyst that Microsoft uses to promote their other health IT products and offerings.
HealthVault is most different from its competition in a few ways. First, HealthVault used its reputation and influence to bring on board a large number of solutions partners. By becoming a member of HealthVault members can then access these many different applications from big names such as CVS, Walgreens and American Cancer Society. Secondly, HealthVault's Connection Center provide a single place where users can connect their peripherals to be monitored through HealthVault. This would include blood pressure monitors, glucose testers and pedometers. Finally, HealthVault is different from other health applications like Dossia and World Medical Card in that it ensures user privacy and allows users to control who can access their records.
HealthVault is very well-designed and meets the expectation that it should be a polished Microsoft product. The site is extremely responsive and fast. The layout is intuitive and simple to use. When logged into the HealthVault application, users are presented with universal icons to navigate through the different features such as Health Information, Emergency Profile and Sharing.
Users can sign up for a new HealthVault account by visiting: https://account.healthvault.com/signin?fsic=True&target=CREATEACCOUNT
The services and features of HealthVault are extended to its users completely free of cost. Currently the website contains a number of advertisements and display materials that generates revenue for Microsoft. Microsoft has mentioned no future plans for charging for this application; instead they consider it apart of their strategy in the healthcare IT field.
Microsoft’s HealthVault effectively delivers relevant health and fitness related data to its users. In addition the application allows its users to maintain their health records, and also enable to share them with other members of the network. Thus, the application can be recommended to anybody regardless of their health or medical issues.