Microsoft’s HealthVault closure is inevitable in a more user-centric world

Microsoft has announced plans to close HealthVault, its personal health record for consumers which it launched back in 2007, later this year.

This is not a huge surprise as the world of healthcare, and public expectations around management of the wealth of very sensitive data it holds, have moved on dramatically in that time.

Patient expectations of being able to access their own data, for example, have combined with a more user-centric desire for personal data storage caused by various public mega breaches.

HealthVault holds data centrally – but the world is moving towards decentralisation, enabling users to hold their own data so they can gain more insight and do more with it on their own terms – our core mission here at digi.me.

Health data is also much broader than traditional data, and can be incredibly powerful when combined with other datasets such as wearables, Internet of Things, and even banking and social media data. This, however, requires a service such as digi.me, which is able to connect to, and combine, data from a range of different apps and services in one secure library.

A key problem with HealthVault was that it didn’t connect to health systems out of the box – consumers had to add their own data – which meant technical integration with it was tricky. This simply no longer fits a world where we expect interconnectivity as standard, and where other services are being built which do.

Add in how fast technology and innovation has moved on, and a wealth of other digital providers, including digi.me, moving into this market and the writing has been on the wall for some time.

If we are to enable user-centric ecosystems, breaking down commercial and technical barriers with services that can connect to a multitude of others is crucial.

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