Modern Day Hatfield-McCoy: Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault

The Hatfields and McCoys, a metaphor for a modern day high-tech industry rivalry centered on personal health records (PHRs) involving Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault and other PHR vendors. An image that a West Virginia health care lawyer can really appreciate.

Thanks to a tweet by @2healthguru for pointing out the CNET article, Microsoft, Google in healthy competition. The article provides a good overview of the developing PHR movement and some insight into the future. However, I’m a bit concerned by the accuracy of the article when I see two of the individuals mentioned in the article (Matthew Holt and Dave deBronkart) tweeting (here and here) that they weren’t really interviewed for the article.

Later this week I will be in D.C.along with others testifying at the Hearing on Personal Health Records before the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), Subcommittee on Privacy, Confidentiality and Security . The Subcommittee is looking at the future of the PHR marketplace and consumer-facing health information technology.

The story of the Hatfield-McCoy feud is woven into the fabric of southern West Virginia lore along the Tug River and well known by all West Virginians. Above is a photo of the West Virginia Hatfield clan around 1897, led by Devil Anse Hatfield, second from the left. For more history and photos check out the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

Note: If you are into off-road vehicle trails, come visit West Virginia and check out the modern day version — the Hatfield-McCoy Trails.