MSN launches personal health management service

MSN releases beta version of a new online health information management service, called My Health Info, including widgets to upload and organize data stored in HealthVault accounts.

My Health Info includes personal page customization, personal health devices, and access to multiple family member profiles. MSN

MSN this week released its beta version of a new online health information management service, including widgets to upload and organize data stored in HealthVault accounts.

MSN describes My Health Info (requires Silverlight) as a feature designed for busy parents, adults managing aging parents, and anyone managing chronic conditions and multiple medications.

That's a wide net to cast, and I say it's about time that those storing data in Microsoft's HealthVault have online access to their own, well, vaults. For years people have been able to access e-mail, financial, and other accounts online, and even aggregate that data into single management centers; health data and management has been notoriously far behind.

My Health Info comes with some pretty handy tools, including personal page customization (i.e. allergy and blood pressure trackers, a lab results bank, BMI calculators, etc.); personal health devices (heart-rate monitors, pedometers, etc.); and access to multiple family member profiles.

"People care deeply about credible, timely, and comprehensive information about health topics," said Scott Moore, U.S. executive producer at MSN (who bounced back to Microsoft after a stint at Yahoo). "We are committed to delighting our customers with information, services, and tools that keep them informed and simplify their lives."

As CNET's Ina Fried reported two years ago, Microsoft launched HailStorm to manage consumers' information online. The project eventually buckled under the weight of concerns over data security and privacy, not to mention difficulty in finding partnerships. HealthVault is off to a better start, with partners like the Social Security Administration already lined up. But competitors such as Google and the open-source Dossia will presumably keep MSN on its toes.

In conjunction with My Health Info, MSN also launched a swine flu info center on its Health & Fitness home page this week, where it has joined with Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic, among others, to track the latest news, assess risk factors, and search for nearby vaccination centers and availabilities.

About the author

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.


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