about Health Vault

(please comment on this write up)

After doing some reading on personal health records, this is a great exercise. One of the greatest barriers to PHR adoption is the complexity of the systems, and the ability to understand the necessary steps to input the information. After signing up for a Microsoft Health Vault account, the barriers noted above seem to be relevant. Certain information is easy enough to input. Bars where a patient can input free text are simple to use. While I did not try to upload any of my own files, I did search online for reviews of this process. The results seem to consistently support the above barriers, that the process is complex and difficult to initiate. While interoperability is promoted by Microsoft itself, the theme seems to be that the process does not work easily. After working with the system and doing some reading, at this time I would not continue using the site. I do not feel it adds much value for me currently. I am able to maintain my own medical records which are not complex on my own.

I think the biggest issue that can be improved would be making the interface as simple as possible. It needs to be user friendly, and the Health Vault needs to be able to communicate with a patients health providers as seamlessly. As soon as something like this becomes complicated or does not work as intended, people will lose interest. When we consider that 50% of the US adult population reads at a 5th grade level or lower, we realize just how simple it must be to gain widespread adoption.

Lastly, I would ultimately not trust my PHI online at the site. In an era where large corporations are hacked routinely, included one responsible for protecting our credit, all information online is vulnerable sooner or later. Unless the program is something I simply could not live without, the risk information theft is simply not worth the benefit of using the program.


Anonymous. 2016. Still in Search of a Personal Health Record and Trying Health Vault. Geritech. Online Health Blog; June 6, 2016.

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