Microsoft HealthVault features medical info storage and search

screenshot of HealthVault

When you think about the major players in the current health care crisis in this country, one of the names that doesn't generally come tripping of the tongue is Microsoft. Their new HealthVault service, currently in beta, may help you bring some sanity back to healthcare for you and your family.

HealthVault is a free service that combines an enhanced healthcare search engine with online storage of your medical records, as well as an interface for certain enabled medical devices, such as blood glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, and peakflow meters.

The search functionality is available to anyone without creating an account. It can be helpful in digging deeper into topics that interest you than working through your usual all-purpose search engine.

The information storage and retrieval functionality allows you to collect and store your personal or family medical information, prescription records, and health insurance info, and to share it with medical professionals as appropriate.

The third piece is the HealthVault Connection Center, which can interface with various health and fitness devices. This enables you to save these values directly into your account.

Privacy of your health information is always a big concern, so you'll want to read and be comfortable with HealthVault's privacy statement before you create an account and begin adding your information.

HealthVault won't fix our healthcare crisis, but it may help add some sanity to your own healthcare management. The search and account functionality are online, so they should support most modern web browsers. The Connection Center requires loading device drivers to a accommodate your various medical devices, so you should expect that Windows XP or later will be required.

Download HealthVault

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