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6/23/2008
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Microsoft, AT&T, Covisint Partner On Health Data Exchange

The agreement lets consumers who use Microsoft's HealthVault share their health data with their doctors.

Through a new partnership between Microsoft, AT&T, and Compuware subsidiary Covisint, consumers who use Microsoft HealthVault tools to input and manage their personal health data via the Web can now share this information nationwide with physicians connected to the AT&T Healthcare Community Online data exchange.

Back in February, AT&T and Covisint announced the launch of the health care data exchange that combines AT&T broadband access with Covisint's OnDemand Health Platform, a hosted service that provides a VPN portal to physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers to share patients' lab, pharmacy, X-ray, and other data.

The pact with Microsoft adds the latest piece to the exchange, providing consumers with the ability to access and input their health data into the exchange. Microsoft's HealthVault is a repository in which consumers can collect, store, manage, and share their personal health data via the Web.

The new partnership between Microsoft, AT&T, and Covisint allows HealthVault users to give their doctors permission to access this additional data over the Covisint/AT&T health exchange. So, for example, if a diabetic consumer uses HealthVault's tools to collect and store daily glucose readings, the consumer's physician also can access that data with the patient's consent, said Brett Frust, Covisint's VP of health care.

The deal with Microsoft is nonexclusive, giving Covisint and AT&T the ability to sign similar pacts with other providers of consumer personal health record tools, Frust said.

"We're agnostic" to the applications consumers and doctors use for collecting and managing health data, said Frust. "Pediatricians have different needs than cardiologists" when it comes to the type of applications they use for patient records, he said. "We're about making it a level playing field to let the technology adapt to [a user's] own needs."

The new relationship with AT&T and Covisint is Microsoft's latest pact to extend HealthVault's consumer user base. Last week, Microsoft said it entered a partnership to allow doctors who provide Web- and phone-based virtual consultations to patients via the new American Well network to also access consumers' HealthVault personal health records, with patients' consent.

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