I’ve been having an email discussion this weekend with some folks on the team about what “success” looks like for HealthVault … kind of like those freshman-year-of-college things where you stay up all night and have pretentious debates about the impacts of Keynesian economics on individual property rights. I love a good email soapbox, as I am sure my long-suffering colleagues will confirm.
But here’s the thing … philosophy aside, there is real, concrete evidence popping up all over the place that says — we are really getting there with this HealthVault thing. And watching all that momentum leaves me feeling pretty peppy, so I thought I’d share a few cool items with you all:
Last Monday, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston announced that their HealthVault connectivity was live. Patients can now copy their clinical information from BIDMC’s PatientSite portal into a HealthVault record, where they can use it when they see providers away from the hospital or when they take advantage of other applications in the HealthVault ecosystem.
Beyond the pure utility to real patients, this was super-cool because Dr. Halamka of BIDMC has also connected to Google Health and serves on their advisory board. By adding HealthVault connectivity, he is reinforcing the reality that it’s crazy for us to be competing right now – we have too much work to do before we get there.
I’ve gotten really excited lately watching the emergence of a community of motivated third-party consultancies that are making HealthVault connectivity a key part of their practices. These folks fill a critical need in the ecosystem — and the fact that they are beginning to establish real businesses around HealthVault says volumes about how far we’ve come.
- Netsoft USA offers services based on their HealthVault Connector framework, and just released a fantastic, in-depth tutorial for developers on working with HealthVault.
- CitiusTech has done a great deal of work integrating registration systems, HL7 feeds and other healthcare systems using their VaultAssist framework.
- Get Real Consulting offers not just consulting services for HealthVault, but developer training as well. They’ve also contributed an incredible developer tool to the ecosystem with HealthVault X-ray, which is quickly becoming an indispensible part of developing apps.
These are just a few examples – we’re keeping up a list of third-party consultants on MSDN as well. Now we just need to get some hosting providers into the mix and we’ll be in great shape.
A few weeks ago we announced our device certification and logo program for HealthVault. As more and more HealthVault-compatible home monitoring devices come online, we’ve reached a point of critical mass where a consistent testing experience is an important piece of the puzzle. I’m looking forward to seeing those HealthVault logos show up on store shelves!
One of my favorite new HealthVault applications to go live recently is Trial X – a service that helps match consumers up with relevant clinical trials. The initial integration is clean and simple, using conditions stored in your HealthVault profile to help identify potential matches. But what is really exciting here is the potential for what Trial X – and other services like it – could become.
Imagine the advancements we could make if people – in a completely opt-in and transparent way – could participate in research and trials not just as passive test subjects, but as an integral part of the team. Researchers could source from millions of potential subjects at a fraction of the cost involved today. Even better, they could stay connected with those participants throughout the life of their study, asking follow-up questions and easily tracking results over the course of years and years.
The issues of privacy and control are critical here, of course … and using the HealthVault authorization engine we can guarantee that people share only what they want, when they want, with who they want … on a completely opt-in basis. It’s a win all the way around — patients in control and researchers better armed. Wooo hoo!
OK — there’s more, but it’s time to go to bed. Stay tuned for more developments — we have some neat stuff coming out in our September releases, and I’m trying to get a new sample app together for some of our Employer-focused features. Things are, indeed, pretty OK.
Credit to the always-awesome XKCD for the contented protester image!