Microsoft, AARP Making Health Info Easier to Collect & ShareBy: Drew Bowling - June 5, 2012
Microsoft and AARP have joined for a project that looks to make it easier for people over the age of 50 to manage health information and dispense it to family and healthcare providers. The service, AARP Health Record, which will be free to AARP members, will allow people to access their health information from any Internet connection.
AARP Vice President Nicole Duritz said in a statement today that the new Health Record service will capitalize on the technological advantages that allow people to access critical information whenever they need it. “AARP Health Record is designed to help our members better manage their health so they can focus on the things they care about most — enjoying the happiness and peace of mind that comes from living life to the fullest,” she said.
Users will be able to include as little or as much information on their Health Record account as they want. Everything from blood type to drug allergies to health histories can be added. More, if you have an obstinate family member who doesn’t wanna take the great digital leap, users will be able to create a Health Record profile for a spouse, parent, or other family member.
The new service, AARP Health Record, will store and secure all profile information on Microsoft HealthVault, a a privacy- and security-enhanced online platform that enables users to compile and store personal health information from multiple sources in a single location. Through the use of HealthVault, AARP Health Record users will be able to import their history of prescription medicines from a HealthVault-partnered pharmacy into their personal profile. Additionally, through Microsoft HealthVault, users of AARP Health Record will be able to print up a wallet-sized info card that contains emergency contact information as well as pertinent medical information that would come in handy during a medical crisis.
HealthVault has been around in the United States since 2007, with Google joining in the race to make an online space to store personal medical records the following year. Online services that store virtual charts of people’s medical history have often caused people to question the security of such platforms, and rightfully so. However, since the AARP believes it can utilize the Health Record service to persuade the more elderly members of the population to adopt online services for medical records, maybe that’s a sign that people are warming up to the idea of online storage services for personal, sensitive info.
“Our members need information that is current and convenient, so they can ask smart questions and communicate effectively with the health-care system, whether they are in their doctor’s office or halfway around the world on vacation,” Duritz said, adding, “This is the future of health care.”