Kara Swisher

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MSN Debuts Online Health Service

MSN, Microsoft’s online portal, released a beta version of a service to let users manage their health information on the Web.

Called My Health Info, the Microsoft (MSFT) offering, which includes a range of widgets and other Web tools, wades into an area that many are attempting to crack, including Google (GOOG).

The service, which will be located on MSN’s health site, will use Microsoft’s HealthVault platform and Silverlight technology, taking the company’s effort to create a platform for storage of health information into the mainstream.

Due to issues of privacy and security, consumers have been slow to warm to loading up their personal health information on the Web.

Microsoft said users can also “research medical concerns, read the latest health news, gain guidance from medical experts, learn about nutrition, and monitor conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.”

Google has a similar beta product called Google Health, and there are others. In fact, the former head of Google Health, Adam Bosworth, has a similar start-up called Keas.

All efforts are trying to get consumers to embrace and feel comfortable in putting their health information online and offer easier tools to do that.

Here’s a screen shot of My Health Info:

mhi2

Here’s the Microsoft press release on the service:

MSN Introduces Online Tools to Help People Make Smarter Health and Lifestyle Decisions

From swine flu info to symptom checkers, MSN My Health Info includes a broad range of widgets and tools to attract health-minded consumers.

REDMOND, Wash.–Oct. 1, 2009–Today, MSN released the beta of My Health Info, a new online service that helps people manage their health information on the Web. My Health Info is a unique service that offers people a variety of tools and widgets to upload, organize and monitor health information stored in their personal Microsoft HealthVault accounts. The new service allows people to research medical concerns, read the latest health news, gain guidance from medical experts, learn about nutrition, and monitor conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
In addition, MSN is launching a specialized swine flu information center today on the MSN Health & Fitness home page (http://health.msn.com), spotlighting the virus that is currently top of mind for people. MSN works with trusted consumer health information providers such as Harvard Medical School and the MayoClinic.com to keep people informed and armed with data to help them prevent contracting the virus, assess for risk factors, find out where to get vaccinations in their local neighborhood when they become available, and more.

My Health Info delivers features designed for busy parents, adults who are managing the health concerns of aging parents, and people managing chronic conditions and multiple medications. Because the data is stored in Microsoft HealthVault, people can access their information via the Web whenever they need it and share it across multiple connected health applications. My Health Info will allow consumers to do the following:

Customize their page with tools such as allergy, medicine and blood pressure trackers, a lab results bank, body mass index calculators, vaccination information and more

Use information from personal health devices such as heart-rate monitors and pedometers

Access profiles of multiple family members at one time, allowing caregivers to more easily manage not only their information, but their family’s as well

Stay informed by receiving the latest in health news from sources they trust

“People care deeply about credible, timely and comprehensive information about health topics. MSN My Health Info will provide an exceptional selection of resources, tools and information available from a variety of sources in one convenient location,” said Scott Moore, U.S. executive producer, MSN. “We are committed to delighting our customers with information, services and tools that keep them informed and simplify their lives.”

Consumers are increasingly looking for online solutions that help them take better control of their health decisions and their families’ information, and that connect them to the broader health ecosystem in which they interact. The My Health Info service enables MSN to offer a timely service to its users, which will be continually updated to help ensure that consumers are offered relevant tools. The service is connected with Microsoft HealthVault, which stores consumer health information in a controlled and privacy-enhanced environment, while enabling consumers to easily collect and transfer their data across the health system for a more holistic and better quality healthcare experience. The My Health Info site is powered by Microsoft Silverlight technology to deliver a rich, interactive Web experience.

“As consumers are increasingly being asked to manage more of their health and wellness, they are looking for solutions that help them navigate an overwhelming amount of information, enabling them to take control of their personal health data,” said David Cerino, general manager of consumer health in Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “Building on the power of HealthVault, My Health Info demonstrates how we are continuing to provide consumers with the trusted and relevant tools they need to make more informed decisions in support of their health and the health of their families.”


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