Google, Microsoft Want to Own Personal Health Records Market

By Clint Boulton Print this article Print

A health care consultant sees services from Google and Microsoft as complementary; Google disagrees.

The introduction of Google's PHR (personal health record) effort by Google CEO Eric Schmidt Feb. 28 has some observers saying it could be a complement to Microsoft's own HealthVault initiative.

Google Health and HealthVault are vying to help people manage their PHRs from a single portal. The assumption is that, as they do in everything else, Google and Microsoft will compete to offer PHR systems. However, one consultant who services health care payers and providers said the companies are tackling the challenge in such different ways that they are poised to complement each other.

Andrew Rocklin, principal of Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, told eWEEK that Microsoft wants to be more of a middleman that stores the data, with partners putting front and back ends on it.

For example, Microsoft is partnering with device manufacturers of glucose and blood pressure monitors—vendors who provide back-end information—as much as it is with service providers such as ActiveHealth Management, which offers its own PHR application, to snap on to the front of HealthVault.

Google Health partners include retailers with pharmacies, such Wal-Mart Stores, Walgreen and Duane Reade.

"Essentially, Microsoft wants to become the platform through which these partners connect, and hopefully knit together enough value to attract consumers," Rocklin said. "Google, on the other hand, is going closer to the source with a consumer-facing PHR."

Read the full article at eWEEK.  

This article was originally published on 2008-05-20
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