Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

Summary: Microsoft is continuing to flesh out its HealthVault electronic medical records service with new features and functionality.

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Microsoft is continuing to flesh out its HealthVault electronic medical records service with new features and functionality.

As of late May, Microsoft began supporting HealthVault on mobile devices, allowing them quick access to their stored medical information on their phones when they go to the HealthVault.com site.

The HealthVault team also has built client libraries and a software development kit (SDK) for Windows Phone 7 for developers who are interested in building standalone HealthVault applications. As of the end of May, Microsoft was promising iOS and Android versions of the libraries and SDK will be available "within weeks."

Microsoft also is allowing users to sign into HealthVault using their Facebook credentials (in addition to using OpenID as an authentication option). As Microsoft officials explained in a blog post:

"It’s important to note that this does NOT mean that HealthVault information will show up on your wall! Today, data only moves from Facebook to HealthVault, not the other way around --- we use your name, birthdate, etc. from Facebook to populate the HealthVault signup form, but that’s it."

Microsoft also recently added the ability for users to upload and download medical images, including X-rays, ultrasounds and MRIs, from the HealthVault Connection Center.

Microsoft launched the beta of HealthVault in 2007 and went “live” with the HealthVault service in September 2009. Earlier this year, Microsoft moved the Health Solutions Group into the Microsoft Business Solutions organization headed by Corporate Vice President Kirill Tatarinov. Microsoft’s HealthVault personal-health-record service, as well as the Amalga integration and analysis products are now in the same business unit as Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP products.

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility, Social Enterprise

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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17 comments
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  • Healthvault needs writing about more!

    Healthvault (and Google's Health service) are so quiet and not discussed, it's a shame. I guess for those without medical issues, it's a non story, but for the rest of us, it's a game changer that needs to be highlighted to get providers on board.
    wdowell
  • Just make sure your Facebook privacy settings

    are set to not disclose your private medical information, and realize that you're going to get some targeted ads to support the Zuckerberg business model.
    HollywoodDog
    • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

      @HollywoodDog
      Yes, totally agreed.
      Ram U
    • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

      @HollywoodDog Facebook is being used as a claims based authentication provider. There is no indication from this article that any medical data will surface through facebook. Only your facebook logon credential will be used.
      Your Non Advocate
      • Says "facebook@..."

        "There is no indication from this article that any medical data will surface through facebook."

        Oh, how comforting! No 'indication'!

        Jon Stewart: ... shared his take on the Facebook-Goldman Sachs deal which allows the social network to avoid transparency by delaying an initial public offering:

        "Mark Zuckerberg doesn?t want to be transparent. The guy?s whose immense success was founded on mining our personal data. The guy who shares my photos with the world unless I change my privacy settings every half-an-hour."

        Stewart added that Facebook ?won?t rest until everyone in the world is walking around naked, holding out their passport, shouting out their children?s names and locations, but don?t look at [their] financial books.?
        HollywoodDog
    • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

      @HollywoodDog For once I have to agree.
      ItsTheBottomLine
    • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

      Facebook accessing users' medical data via OpenID would be an outright criminal act. I'm more afraid that people aren't setting strong enough passwords on Facebook and now their HealthVault passwords are equally weak. I'd never mix the two, personally... I try to keep business and pleasure separate.
      scH4MMER
  • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

    I don't care for all these facebook logins on web pages. Seems like it boils down to a single point of failure should your account get compromised.
    LoverockDavidson
    • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

      @LoverockDavidson

      Then use a strong password.
      Your Non Advocate
      • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

        @facebook@... <br> Even a strong password can be compromised. There is nothing safe once you are on loose (on the internet). It is your responsibility to watch for predators and enjoy your cruise and if you are not sure, just don't go there.
        Ram U
    • Why does it feel like

      @LoverockDavidson ... rather than adding something that benefits you in some way, the Facebook-industrial-complex has kicked open your front door, put a gun to your forehead, and announced that from now on your private medical records will now be managed through Microsoft and Facebook and your cell phone, and any qualms you may have about that are answered by referring you to Facebook's terms of service and privacy screen.

      This doesn't feel like progress. It feels like a kidnapping.
      HollywoodDog
      • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

        @HollywoodDog

        Nothing forces you to use you Facebook login or even the HealthVault service. It is simply a choice for those that want to do so - if you do not like it then use a Live login or OpenID. As it stands, all the Facebook login does is auto-fill the signup form. This does no harm and does not release your information to the world. There was even a note made to it being a one-way connection. I will say that there is the <i>potential</i> for problems if they link the two services more in the future, but that is not what this is now.

        I do not think that Facebook and health information should ever venture past this point of form-filling. That being said, I can see where some people would want some of the information put on Facebook. Bodybuilders, people working on managing a disease, or just people who enjoy exercise may want to broadcast the health progress and milestones that they achieve to their friends and family - weight loss/gain, stable glucose levels, etc.

        So while I do not like Facebook nor seeing it's little login icons all over the place, anything is twisting peoples' arms into releasing private data for Facebook to make more advertising dollars.
        luxsphinx
  • More $$$ for the insurance companies besides M$ and Facebook, ya here

    It's just came to mind that they will be able to sell our private or health problems to the health insurance companies where they can deny our insurance for previous known conditions for even charge more than other Joes. Yes, just post your private info an voila!
    anonymous99
  • HIPAA concerns

    I'm really not comfortable with having this information correlated with my facebook userID. I feel that by having the facebook user ID stored in their database that's the equivalent of storing my first name, lastname, home town, and gender unencrypted. HIPAA compliance requires that the patient's first name and lastname and address be encrypted in the database (as well as any other medical info)... The facebook ID equates to a facebook profile in which all of these things are public, therefore should MS's database be compromised, all of that information which would otherwise be unavailable would become available due to a lack of a separate login credential.

    I think HIPAA should be revised to require separate login credentials for patients to avoid this type of data leak.

    What's next... "Post medical diagnosis to your wall"... "X has syphilis. To share your personal medical information with your facebook friends join Microsoft's health vault today!"

    Social networking has absolutely no place in medical records...
    snoop0x7b
  • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

    HealthVault also offers a second factor authentication in the form of a phone call to a registered number. People interested in this added level of security can simply enable it at HealthVault.
    scotthit
  • EHRs online (google & MS)

    I've been using Google Health to store my dogs health care records before I was going to use it for myself. It actually came in handy while on vacation and I forgot his "little package" of doggie info. I simply logged into the account from the doggie daycare computer 400 miles from home and printed out his rabies and vaccination certificates and he was good to go!!
    jimrharrison
  • RE: Microsoft's HealthVault gets Facebook authentication, mobile phone support

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