Microsoft has launched its HealthVault platform in the UK in a move which could allow healthcare providers to offer patients more control over their data.
The cloud platform allows patients to store, share and interact with information online concerning their personal health.
Dave Coplin, Microsoft's national technology officer, claimed that the launch provides opportunities for healthcare organisations to build programs on top of the platform.
"HealthVault offers huge opportunities for organisations to create value-added services that take users information and provide detailed analysis and information on the data they provide," he said.
Coplin also stressed the security of the system, explaining that it allows applications to access specific data only at the user's approval.
While HealthVault may eventually be used in the NHS, Coplin was cool on the use of the platform in this way.
"In time it is feasible that HealthVault could be something the government looks at investing in, but for now it is more aimed at those users who are well rather than those who are sick, which is the NHS's key priority," he added.
Nevertheless, the government has said repeatedly that it wants to decentralise government IT contracts, and has singled out the NHS Spine project set up under Labour for particular criticism.
HealthVault is available from today but no specific information on pricing was available.
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