Microsoft HealthVault


Microsoft HealthVault, which launched in October 2007, is a free personal health record (PHR) service offered by Microsoft that allows individuals to store personal health and fitness information in a central location. The Web-based service is available to anyone with a Microsoft account.

Once logged in, users enter basic health information (such as allergies, medical conditions, family health history, and current medications), emergency contact information and a variety of measurements (such as height, weight and blood pressure). They can then choose to share this information with other people, including physicians as well as family members.

HealthVault partners with a variety of other health systems, services and devices (such as scales, pedometers and heart rate monitors) to provide additional value. One example is My CVS/pharmacy Prescriptions, which allows users to link prescription information directly to their HealthVault accounts. Meanwhile, those using the Walgreens Premium Arm Blood Pressure Monitor can connect the device to a PC and have the data uploaded directly to HealthVault.

Microsoft HealthVault is governed by its own HealthVault privacy policy explains the level of privacy and security that comes along with a HealthVault account. Because Microsoft is not a health care provider, Microsoft HealthVault is not regulated by the original Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

However, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECT Act), passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, updates HIPAA security provisions to include Microsoft HealthVault and other PHR services. These provisions mandate that individuals must be notified by the responsible party if the confidentiality of their personal data is breached.

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This was last updated in May 2010

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