Google on the verge of launching Microsoft HealthVault competitor

Google is finally poised to launch its long-awaited Google Health service, which will be a head-to-head competitor with Microsoft's HealthVault software/service that Redmond released in beta in October 2007.

Google is finally poised to launch its long-awaited Google Health service, according to the Google Blogoscoped site.

Google Health will allow users to build online health profiles, download medical records, get personalized health advice and share information (at a patient's discretion) with doctors and others.

Sounds almost identical, feature-for-feature, to Microsoft's HealthVault service. Microsoft launched a beta of HealthVault last October. The one noticeable difference is HealthVault includes a client application that complements the Live service that will allow consumers to build and maintain a personal health record. One of the inputs into this health record will be results from Microsoft’s health search-engine, also known as HealthVault, which is based on the MedStory search technology Microsoft bought in 2006.

(HealthVault was codenamed "Wildcat," for all you codename watchers out there.  And "Wildcat Labs" was the HealthVault software development kit.)

Microsoft hasn't said much about HealthVault since the October beta launch. There's a new HealthVault blog that could be worth watching as Microsoft's service moves ahead. And there's the second annual Microsoft Health and Life Sciences Solutions and Developer Conference on the books for April (where "Health 2.0" will be among the topics discussed).

Beyond that, I guess it's stay tuned for yet another Microsoft-Google battle.