Microsoft and Consumer eHealth

I have written many times in the past (on this blog and through other channels) on the potential of Microsoft to play a key role in consumer eHealth.  In addition to Microsoft HealthVault, the company has released information about other ideas currently in their labs:

Ideas include:

  • smartphone apps that use sensors such accelerometers, camera, and microphone to help people keep daily logs of their activities.  I am considering employing a personal trainer to get into better shape and they have suggested that keeping such a log is an important part of a wellness and fitness program.
  • Use of xbox 360 platform in hospital rooms to “to feed information from electronic medical records onto in-room display screens for patients”
  • Computers built into tabletops that would instruct patients on how to care for themselves when outsidemthe hospital. “The computers could be used to pull content like X-ray images from personal records, or other pictures from the Internet, and to save them for the patient to view later.”

While some of these ideas might seem far fetched, I find it interesting to watch how a large consumer electronics and software company like Microsoft is exploring health applications for their products.


2 responses to “Microsoft and Consumer eHealth

  1. I wouldn’t look to Microsoft for any real innovation.

    iPods have been using accelerometers and along with Nike have allowed runners to track their workouts. The new iPod Nano has a built in pedometer.

    As for trusting Microsoft with my personal health information with HealthVault why would I trust them at all given the track record with HotMail. Of course, trusting HealthVault would only be further complicated by the US Patriot Act – no thanks!

    Xbox 360 as some sort of retrieval engine for medical records? Why a game machine? Would it make my parents feel better about using such an interface?

  2. At the risk of looking like I am promoting Microsoft, I’d like to point out that Microsoft is implementing HealthVault on a country by country basis to comply with local privacy legislation. In Canada HealthVault will be operated by Telus and Canadian data will stay in Canada in order to comply with Canadian privacy legislation.

    As for why use an XBOX? My understanding is thatit is an inexpensive platform with sufficient computing horsepower for the intended application. Plus, it can double as an entertainment device. Not suggesting I agree with the rationale but just trying to offer an explanation.


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