A couple of days ago, we announced that we’ve expanded the size of the Be Well fund to $4.5 Million … a 50% increase over what we had planned. We received almost 200 entries, making Be Well one of the most successful programs in Microsoft Research history. Too cool!
Be Well is a search for “champions” — folks who have a vision of how HealthVault can be used to create something really transformative. We discovered that there are tons of folks out there with great ideas — using mobile technology, devices, doctor-to-patient connectivity, collaborative analysis, you name it. The judges are going to have their hands full picking winners, even with the expanded grant pool — a nice problem to have!
We’ll be announcing the winners at the second annual HealthVault Solutions Conference in a couple of weeks. I’d encourage you to sign up and come in person, but that’s our second “nice to have” problem — we are way overbooked. Enthusiasm and momentum for HealthVault is huge and growing … it is hard to keep up. Still haven’t finished my slides for the architecture session — Melissa, I swear I’m almost done!
As the ecosystem matures, we’re also starting to see a talented set of third party development consultants add HealthVault to their portfolios — so more of those “champions” can connect to HealthVault, even if they don’t have the in-house technical resources to do so on their own. All of the folks in the directory have shipped HealthVault code, so you can be confident you’re working with a partner who has “been there” before.
Lastly — another turn of the HealthVault crank is on tap for late June … we’ll be announcing a number of new features at the partner conference, and more will make their way quietly into our development docs and Eric’s great blog. I’m particularly excited about some new stuff targeted at employers and other groups that want to help their memberships get and stay healthy… ssshhh!