Microsoft is readying another piece of its healthcare software and service platform.
The latest component is a SharePoint-based offering called HealthVault Community Connect, which Microsoft is introducing on March 1 at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference . Due out in the third calendar quarter of this year, Community Connect will manage medical-records-processing workflows, providing automation on the patient entry and discharge fronts.
The "Community" in the name of the new product isn't a reference to social networking. Instead, it refers to the "community" of the patient, the hospital and the patient's caregivers outside the hospital, according to Microsoft. Community Connect is being designed to better automate the interactions among these groups, by allowing hospitals to provide patients and their doctors with access to electronic copies of patients' health data generated by the hospitals. It also will allow patients to preregister for hospital appointments and use their electronic health records to fill out hospital forms in advance.
Microsoft and select partners will be selling licenses for the Community Connect application to hospitals.
"Anyone today can use the (existing) HealthVault SDK (software development kit) to access the data. And the (consumer-facing) HealthVault service can be accessed for free," explained David Cerino, General Manager of Microsoft's Consumer Health Solutions Group. "We wrote this application to make the processing easier and quicker."
In addition to plugging into the HealthVault service, the Community Connect application also will include integration links to Amalga, Microsoft's patient-information software, which the company acquired in 2006. HealthVault, a personal health application platform, is the centerpiece of Microsoft's healthcare product family, is both a client application and an Azure-based cloud service.
Community Connect (which was codenamed "Miami," for you fellow/sister codename buffs) is the second healthcare application that Microsoft has developed. Last year, the company launched the Mayo Clinic Health Manager application, which Microsoft co-developed with the Mayo Clinic. More than 150 third-party developers also have developed applications that plug into the HealthVault platform, Cerino said.
HealthVault Community Connect requires Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition, SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft SharePoint 2010 for Internet Sites. The product will be available to Software Assurance customers only.