Feeds

Microsoft launches MSN health application

Keeping MSN relevant and saving the NHS money, maybe

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.