- Microsoft is pulling the plug on its HealthVault Insights, saying knowledge gleaned from the less than year-long research project will be applied to other projects.
- HealthVault Insights used machine learning to help individuals understand and analyze their personal health records. iOS, Android and Windows stores will stop carrying the app later this month.
- Users will still be to access a summary of their personal health data on the HealthVault website, but detailed data will no longer be available.
The personal health records market is ripe with opportunity. Patients are behaving more like consumers, demanding better service, more feedback and more convenient locations. But scaling up has been hard. Physician resistance, interoperability challenges, patient identity issues and usability of different portal technologies all stand in the way of widespread adoption.
A 2016 study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association found that patients will view their clinician’s notes when prompted by email alerts, but viewing dropped off without the alerts. Another study at Geisinger Health System found low levels of participation on a patient portal a decade after it was implemented.
Microsoft is the latest major tech company to change its PHR product plans. In 2011, Google announced it was discontinuing its PHR product, Google Health, citing its failure to “scale as planned.”
Last year, CNBC reported that Apple was secretly working on adapting its iPhone as a go-to-source for personal medical information like lab results and allergies. The company was said to be talking with hospitals, attending digital health industry conferences and scouting for possible acquisitions.
On Wednesday CNBC reported Apple is announcing the release of a test version of a product that allows individuals to download and view their health records.