Kaiser Permanente, with the largest HMO in the US, has selected Microsoft’s Health Vault personal health records initiative over Google in a big new test with Kaiser employees, according to the NY Times. If successful, the offering could be extended to all of Kaiser’s almost 9 million members.
According to the article:
The partnership, announced Monday, will begin with a pilot project open to Kaiser’s 156,000 employees, which will run until November. If successful, the product linking Kaiser’s patient information with Microsoft’s Health Vault personal health-record service will be offered to Kaiser’s 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia.
Kaiser reportedly selected Microsoft because the two entities shared a similar document format vs. Google: Continuity of Care Document, or CCD vs. Google’s Continuity of Care Record, or CCR. Kaiser was reportedly also impressed by Microsoft’s handling of privacy and data security issues.
The fight for partnerships with health insurance carriers is not unlike these toolbar and default search deals that Google and Microsoft compete for. However, consumers will ultimately be given a range of choices about which records system to use. But the competition and ultimately the combined push by Google and Microsoft promoting adoption of online personal health records will accelerate the mainstreaming of such a system.