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December 02, 2010

HealthVault Not Profitable - Microsoft Re-Focuses on Hospital Data Systems

Microsoft (News - Alert) won’t try to monetize its HealthVault platform for personal health records, at least in the U.S. According to a recent Financial Times interview with Peter Neupert, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president for health, “Microsoft would not make any charge to US users because of the fragmentation of the system, with information managed by different health insurers and providers”. Apparently the consumer demand for storing personal health records using the HealthVault system will not even generate advertising revenues. Instead, Neupert says that Microsoft will work on branding HealthVault in the minds of consumers and healthcare providers as “important, critical and trusted."

That might sound like a cover for a gradual Microsoft retreat from the highly competitive electronic health record marketplace.   However, the company has had more success in the European market, and the platform is providing a basis for vendors to offer their own personal health record solutions. In November, Siemens (News - Alert) Health announced that it is launching Assignio, a health platform based on Microsoft’s HealthVault, into the German market. 

Meanwhile, the Microsoft health division is shifting its attention in the U.S. health care data market from personal health care records and direct consumer adoption to solutions that address the data integration challenges of hospitals and large health care provider groups. The Microsoft Amalga platform is designed to support the real-time integration of health and patient data from the multiple legacy systems that most large care providers are still maintaining. Its components include an Amalga Unified Intelligence system, Life Sciences system, and Hospital Information system.

Cynthia Artin, President of ArtinArts, has been helping companies grow through sound investment, strategy and market positioning for 30 years. To read more of her articles on TMCnet, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda


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