Microsoft and Google both have ambitious electronic health records initiatives. But today both introduced “health maps” that enable data visualization on a mapping interface.
Bing was first with its announcement:
Today along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Institute of Medicine, the Bing Health team is participating in the Community Health Data Initiative and unveiling the new Bing Health Map Application. This new application will allow you to overlay health data onto Bing Maps so you can better understand and visualize the health of a community.
There is an impressive list of data that can be displayed on the map, including things like infant mortality and various cancer rates, homicides and other categories of health-related data.
Shortly after the Bing post and announcement this morning Google “answered” with this post:
HHS has published useful data about communities, hospitals and nursing homes and made it available for download. As a demonstration project, we combined some of this information using Google Fusion Tables, a database service in the cloud that makes it easy to explore, visualize and share structured data. Using Fusion Tables we created a customized map to display information from the database. For example, you can see a map of “heart friendly” and “people friendly” hospitals, based on statistics from HHS . . .
The Google map is less developed than its Bing counterpart but I would imagine that will change quickly.