The Microsoft HealthVault is a free and trustworthy service for patients’ storage, access, and use of their own personal health records (PHR).
A HealthVault PHR can be accessed with a variety of mobile and computer apps and web browsers, either directly or indirectly. Patients can add to and update the PHR, download the information in it, and share the information with caregivers and providers, in standardized, useable, and readable formats.
Patients can use web browsers (e.g, IE Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox) to access, directly, the Microsoft HealthVault home page
- to learn about the HealthVault and personal health record,
- to create a required Microsoft Live account,
- to create a HealthVault account,
- to sign in to the HealthVault, and
- to create and access their personal health records (PHR) in the HealthVault.
Using any of those browsers, they can also access the HealthVault, indirectly, when they visit a number of websites designed to offer a more user-friendly interface for entering and displaying information in the HealthVault.
When it comes to entering, reporting, and sharing health information related to heart health in HealthVault, Heart360 is a very impressive and easy-to-use browser-based application. HealthVault users can view a video tour, then sign up, setup, and use Heart360 to enter and edit blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol weight, physical activity, and medications data and generate clear and useful reports for themselves or for sharing with their physicians and other caregivers.
Another web-based application, myMediConnect, provides a variety of free services including connection to the HealthVault PHR. The services–some free, some not–include:
The myMediConnect user interface also makes it easy to enter, edit, and display health information in the HealthVault PHR.
Computer Apps Access
Those with Windows 8 computers can use the app, HealthVault for Windows 8, instead of a browser, to access the HealthVault, directly.
The 2010 Federal Blue Button Initiative has made it possible to use browsers to download health information from Department of Veterans Affairs, TriCare, and Medicare health information systems and to upload and integrate it into the HealthVault. Health information from other sources in the private sector (e.g., Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield Federal Employee Program) can also be downloaded and integrated. Its as simple as clicking on the Blue Button on a source website, selecting a text file download, and then uploading the downloaded file to the PHR in the HealthVault.