The Microsoft Health Vault Program is now in the news. Microsoft makes available this special online application to be used for free (for now) by any people. The Health Vault Program consists of two applications. The first one is the personal health register program while the other one is the search program. People will be allowed to upload their personal health information in the personal health register program. Of course they will be able to customize their own privacy settings and will have control over their own record. The information stored will be in encrypted form. However doctors, healthcare centers and different clinics will also be able to upload their personal health information in this personal health record application. On the other hand, the search program of the Health Vault will also allow users to search; study and research on different health issues, various diseases their treatment procedures.
Health Vault vs. Health Insurance
It is still a matter of dispute of how the Health Vault will cast an effect on the Health Insurance market. However one thing is for sure that health insurance companies will not be able to use the Health Vault program. In order to have the right of entry to the personal health records of different people (customers), health insurance companies will have to enter into a joint agreement with Microsoft Corporation.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Health Vault
The Health Vault Program of Microsoft will allow people including individuals, health centers, hospitals etc. to gain access to the huge wealth of information on health related issues. The user interface will be simple, that would allow anyone to operate the program easily. But on the other hand, there is still less guarantee to protect one’s privacy statement. Many individuals do not wish to disclose their private health records and other information to be displayed universally through the Health Vault. Microsoft has thus introduced the encrypted database system to save data.
Organizations for and against Microsoft’s Health Vault
There are different hospitals and healthcare organization that have supported the launch of Microsoft Health Vault program and have partnered with the same. These include the Mayo Clinic, MedStar Health, and the Presbyterian Hospital etc. But there are also people who are against the Health Vault Program and among them the names of John Mack of Pharma Marketing Blog and Dr. Annie Antón of Theprivacyplace.org is worthwhile to mention. They are opposing because of the low privacy settings of the program.
Microsoft’s Health Vault Program is still in the nascent stage and is on the process of further research and development. Although it has many loopholes but when the widespread use of online applications (that records private data in their databases) are taken into consideration, the use of the Health Vault program is unavoidable.