Microsoft and Mayo Clinic Collaboration: Mayo Clinic Health Manager

Today Microsoft Corporation and Mayo Clinic announced a new consumer online health service called Mayo Clinic Health Manager, build on the HealthVault platform.

The press release states that Mayo Clinic Health Manager provides individuals “a place to store medical information and receive real-time individualized health guidance and recommendations based on the clinical expertise of Mayo Clinic . . . [extending] the capabilities of traditional personal health records, using an individual’s health information to generate customized recommendations on which they can act to help them better manage their health and the health of their families.”

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How does this change the current PHR landscape?

Like others who have been commenting today I see this as combining the power brand of Mayo Clinic and its guidelines with what appears to be simple PHR tools designed to allow you to record, track, monitor, etc. your health information. However, at this point it still doesn’t get over the hurdle of the individual having to individually input their own data.

Will health consumers become engaged to take on this role? Can providers and payors start to feed good data into the system to lessen the burden on the consumer/patient? What role will state and federal payors play in these systems? How will we all address the issues raised by Dave deBronkart (e-patientDave) which have been the center of discussion on the health blogosphere the past couple of weeks.

More questions than answers.

UPDATE (4/23/09): Did Microsoft sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement as a part of the collaboration? In HIPAA lawyer jargon the real question is “whether Mircrosoft is offering a service for or on behalf of the Mayo Clinic and is receiving protected health information.” Answer per Microsoft from Nei Versel’s Healthcare IT Blog.