Microsoft wants to store your health records

On the one hand, Microsoft has sent lawyers to Washington to fight Google's proposed merger with DoubleClick on the grounds that the merger would create a privacy risk by creating the largest database of identity information ever. On the other hand, it wants to offer consumers HealthVault, an online repository where they can store their personal health-related information.

An article in PC Magazine describes Helathvault as a site …

"… designed to be an online, encrypted vault, where U.S. users can store and manage their health records without paying a fee. The site will also serve as a repository for health-related articles and other information, Microsoft said … HealthVault will also allow users to upload data from a small number of HealthVault-compatible devices, and allow users to send, receive and store their own medical records and information from doctors and healthcare providers."

How many think that a Microsoft-controlled database of health records is a good thing?

Well the story says that HealthVault got the nod from the healthcare privacy watchdog group Patient Privacy Rights Foundation. Microsoft's HealthVault's privacy policy will state, "We do not use your health information for commercial purposes unless we ask and you clearly tell us we may."

The fact that the potential would exist for Microsoft to use healthcare information for commercial purposes at all – does anyone think that's a good idea?

Perhaps it is time for personal healthcare info to come into the modern networked age. According to the story,

"Microsoft said approximately forty applications and devices are either available or planned for the HealthVault platform, with contributions from ActiveHealth Management, Allscripts, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, American Lung Association, Eclipsys Corporation, Home Diagnostics, Johnson & Johnson's LifeScan, Microlife USA, Nexcura, US Wellness, and WorldDoc, among others."

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