Microsoft eyes health care app developers with $3 million fund

Starting off a race for developers, Redmond offers $3 million fund for health care applications that work on its HealthVault platform.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills

Got a good idea for a health care application? If so, you could get as much as $500,000 in funding from Microsoft.


Microsoft has created a $3 million fund to invest in applications built for its HealthVault electronic medical records platform, the company announced Monday at the start of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2008 annual conference in Orlando, Fla.

Launched in October, HealthVault is intended to allow people to access their medical records through any device, regardless of the health care provider or insurer.

Google is expected to make a health care-related announcement of its own at the conference during the keynote of Chief Executive Eric Schmidt on Thursday. Last Thursday, Google announced a trial with Cleveland Clinic in which potentially thousands of patients will be able to access their health records through their Google accounts.

Microsoft's aim with the $3 million fund is to create an ecosystem around its HealthVault initiative, much like its Windows platform attracts developers to create programs that run on that operating system.

In particular, Microsoft is interested in applications related to preventive care, acute care diagnosis and treatment, management of juvenile diseases, women's health, and community and social health applications.

Microsoft, which last week decided to share details of its technology with open-source programmers, also is hosting a HealthVault open-source project to make development for the platform easier.