Feeds

Microsoft launches MSN health application

Keeping MSN relevant and saving the NHS money, maybe

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has announced the availability of its brand new "health and wellness" HealthVault cloud platform in the UK.

HealthVault is an MSN-hosted store for users to enter their data directly and to use applications or widgets developed by charity Nuffield Health.

The announcement is full of well-meaning yadda yadda like putting "HealthVault put[s] users in charge of their own health data" and "the security features built into HealthVault mean that users can take control over who can access and use their data".

UK users are in control of their own health data now, apart from their NHS records, and there's no way to get those into HealthVault, so Microsoft isn't offering anything new in that department.

HealthVault is a way for Microsoft to get its claws into consumers and have them use MSN as a place to store health records. But there isn't much of that available outside the NHS and private medical services, so it's presented as a way for consumers with families to record, monitor and manage the family members' health, while MSN serves them ads.

Microsoft is saying that people using HealthVault could become healthier and so use NHS facilities less. It says that on HealthVault "information can be entered manually by an individual for themselves or their family - or automatically from a range of compatible devices including weight scales, blood pressure monitors and pedometers". A & D Medical's weighing machine and blood pressure monitors are the two that seem compatible.

Microsoft quotes research showing 13 per cent of the UK population are actively interested and engaged in looking after their "wellness" - exercising regularly, looking after their diet, monitoring their weight and taking their temperature and blood pressure. Such people use just two thirds of the NHS resources consumed by those who don't look after themselves.

Microsoft's John Coulthard, Senior Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Microsoft UK, thinks HealthVault "offers huge opportunities for organisations in the healthcare ecosystem to build applications and services that help people engage in their health and wellness". He also said if that 13 per cent of people who manage their health could be raised to 25 per cent then the NHS could save £5bn.

So Microsoft wants to nanny us to health and budget wellness with HealthVault, which might be no bad thing, but you do get a creeping sensation it's more about keeping MSN relevant than saving the NHS money. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.