Microsoft Healthvault{3}


The article discusses a partnership between the Microsoft Corporation and St. Jude Medical Center to better integrate data from implantable devices with patient health records. It reveals that since 2008, Microsoft has collaborated with companies such as Health Solutions Group and Merlin.net in an effort to share device information directly from patient care devices such as implanted cardioverter defibrillators. Health devices such as these monitors a patients vitals, collects data, and securely transmits the information to a internet-based system in which physicians can remotely follow-up with a patients progress and recovery. Data such as these can determine a patients’ heartbeat, rhythm, and even real-time electrograms. The collaboration with Merlin.net is to assure the standards of reliability regarding patient privacy and security while meeting regulatory requirements by the International Quality Certification Standards as all transmissions are encrypted using industry standard cryptography.

Microsoft Healthvault is in fact a cloud based consumer health record system adopted by some of the most prominent healthcare organizations. It was designed to make communication between patient and health care providers more easily accessible. According to the article, Microsoft Healthvault’s role will reach the span of five major focus areas including: cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiac surgery, cardiology, and neuromodulation.

I thought this article was interesting because despite all of the philanthropy work that the Gates Foundation contributes towards HIV and AIDS, I was not aware that the Microsoft Corporation was working with medical institutions in developing such technologies. Having had the opportunity in working with dedicated networks for heart monitoring devices, I have seen how a patient would plug a telephone cord into a small device in his chest at night. The device would then collect data throughout the day and relay it back to his doctor every evening. It was amazing to watch it working as it was so simple to use, one would press a button to initiate a secure connection and the data would be sent in just a few minutes. I chose this article after watching a youtube video of Bill Gates speaking at the Claremont Colleges about issues such as healthcare and wanted to learn more about what Microsoft was doing, not just the Gates Foundation. The article relates to topics discussed in class regarding web-based data management systems because cloud computing is becoming more prevalent in terms of being an industry standard. In project three, we were to design a log-in portal in which users and administrators would be required to have valid permissions to access the designed dashboards. Although the article was originally written in 2008, a more recent update was done in September of 2011 and, in fact, the Merlin.net portal is still active today and continues to serve its purpose in providing patients and healthcare professionals a secure method of exchanging information.

Source: WIRELESS NEWS – May 7, 2008. St. Jude Medical and Microsoft to Collaborate on Health Records. Copyright 2008. 10Meters.com.