DoD launches PHR pilot with Microsoft, Google
The Department of Defense (DoD) has launched MiCare, the Military Health System's prototype personal health record (PHR) at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC) in Tacoma, Wash.

MiCare, developed as a pilot project in partnership with Microsoft and Google, began in March 2008, focused on incorporating the services and features offered by commercial vendors as a way to expedite the development and expand the capabilities of the military's PHR.

Beneficiaries who choose to enroll in MiCare at MAMC will have access to their demographic information, active medication lists, their allergy data, lab results, radiology results, personal problem list, past visits, upcoming appointments and inpatient/outpatient documentation from AHLTA, the military EHR, according to the DoD.

Using Microsoft HealthVault or Google Health, the beneficiary will also have the ability to store health records obtained from civilian providers, plans and pharmacies. Healthvault also allows uploading of data from health and fitness devices, such as pedometers, blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors and peak flow meters. The beneficiary can choose to share this data with healthcare providers and a wide range of health and wellness applications and services connected on the HealthVault or Google Health platform.

Beneficiaries' health information will be protected under the new "Connecting for Health" guidelines developed by the Markle Foundation with the aid of Microsoft, Google and other vendors to establish the standards for keeping sensitive information private. The beneficiary has complete control over who looks at the data and what information they see.

Plans for deployment of MiCare beyond the initial MAMC pilot location are under consideration and new features including secure provider/patient messaging and a provider portal will be considered for development and addition to subsequent versions.