Microsoft, Kaiser to share info across e-health systems
Kaiser to exchange information with Microsoft’s Health Vault. Source: The Center for Health Information
Microsoft and healthcare insurance provider Kaiser Permanente have announced plans to share data between their e-health systems as part of Microsoft's efforts to provide a central online repository for patient health records (PHRs).

The two companies have launched a pilot program for Kaiser's 156,000 employees to exchange information between Kaiser's My Health Manager PHR and Microsoft's HealthVault PHR platform.

Anna-Lisa Silvestre, vice president of Online Services at Kaiser Permanente, said that Microsoft and Kaiser will decide in November if the pilot has been successful and whether to open up the program to the more than 8.7 million Kaiser members in the United States, according to the New York Times.

Microsoft unveiled HealthVault in October 2007 as a beta release; the company expects HealthVault to go into full production release by the end of the year.

"HealthVault is the connection between the consumer and the enterprise," said George Scriban, product manager for Microsoft's consumer health platform.

Microsoft eventually aims to allow third parties to write applications that can tap into the HealthVault system and provide health, wellness and fitness programs for customers whose patient records are stored in the system, Scriban said in Network World.

Microsoft also is running similar pilots with the Mayo Clinic and NewYork Presbyterian Hospital.