Microsoft is closing its HealthVault patient-records service on November 20

Microsoft's HealthVault personal-health-record service is closing on November 20 and any data left in it at that time will be deleted, Microsoft officials are telling users via e-mail.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is dropping its HealthVault patient records-management service, the company notified customers via email today, April 5.  The service will be shut down on November 20 and any data residing in the service will be deleted after that date.

HealthVault was one of the last pieces left of Microsoft's original foray into first-part health services products. Recently, Microsoft officials said they were ending support for the Microsoft Health Dashboard applications and services as of May 31. Early last year, Microsoft dropped its HealthVault Insights application.

HealthVault is a service for storing individuals' health and medical records and information so they can be shared with health professionals. Microsoft launched a beta of HealthVault in 2007 and went live with the service in 2009. Microsoft was still updating its HealthVault documentation on the docs.microsoft.com site as of December 2018.

Here's the text of the email Microsoft is sending to HealthVault customers:

"We are reaching out to you because you are a registered user of the HealthVault service. We are providing you this notice to ensure you are aware of an important development:

"The Microsoft HealthVault service will be shut down as of November 20, 2019.

"Data you have in your HealthVault account will be deleted effective November 20, 2019. If you wish to keep the data in your account, you need to take action now to transfer that data from your HealthVault account.

"Please take appropriate action to move your data or information you may have stored in your HealthVault account. To help customers that wish to transfer their data out of HealthVault, several options are available and described below.

"If you are using an Application (mobile, web, etc.) that is dependent on the HealthVault service, such applications may also stop working once the HealthVault service is shut down. Please reach out to the Application provider for information on their plans.

"We appreciate your use of the HealthVault Service. If you have questions regarding this communication please do not hesitate to reach out to HealthVault Customer Support."

Microsoft is not giving up on the healthcare market. In February this year, Microsoft Healthcare announced it was making generally available its Healthcare Bot Service; adding more healthcare-specific features to Teams; and adding new health-record integration capabilities to Azure and Teams. But like it has been doing on many fronts lately, it seems to be getting out of the consumer-facing part of the business.

Microsoft made its initial foray into healthcare over a decade ago, but ended up retrenching and selling off most of the health assets it originally acquired. A couple of years ago, Microsoft announced it was creating a new healthcare-focused research unit, Healthcare NExT.  Healthcare is one of Microsoft's highest priority verticals, as it's a growing and pervasive market.  

Microsoft is suggesting users who want to transfer or export their data to another personal health record provider contact Get Real Health (U.S. and international customers) and/or FollowMyHealth (U.S. customers only).

According to Get Real Health's April 5, 2019 press release, "by simply clicking on three buttons, HealthVault account holders will have data migrated to Get Real Health's Lydia platform." Lydia provides native Apple and Android apps; the ability to upload health data from any doctor or hospital; and "continuity of using HealthVault credentials for Lydia login." 

(Thanks to Chamila Udukumbura on Twitter for the heads up on the HealthVault news.)