RIP: Microsoft HealthVault – Migrating the data out

Healthcare and technology need to catch up with eachother!

The first big PHR related service to shut down was in 2011.  Google Health.   PHR or Personal Health Record is the idea that you should not have your personal health data locked away and fragmented at various doctor offices.  With connected services and the internet, you can have all medical sources reporting into a single source that you could control, share and review.  Helping consumers take ownership of their health and the data related to it.  For me, it allowed me to see my health record holistically and also transfer and share that data between doctors (even if that just meant printing it out for new doctors).   Not just doctors, but hospitals, pharmacies, fitness devices like Fitbit and Apple watches could all report into it.  I think the idea is great!  I thought Google Health failed because it was maybe too ahead of its time in 2011. But…

Fast forward to 2019 and the second big name has fallen.  Microsoft will be shutting down Microsoft HealthVault in November 2019.  Shutting the service and deleting all data.  Just like in 2011, when I ported all my data from Google Health to Microsoft HealthVault, HealthVault is allowing easy migration from it’s servers to others.  The unfortunate trend in reducing company sizes is continuing with Lydia and FollowMyHealth.  Both provide a good service and FollowMyHealth has buy-in by the doctors I use personally so these choices are fine for me but I do wish it was run by one of the large tech companies.   I’m not sure how profitable this space is and having deep pockets is probably a good thing to help stave off the temptation of selling the data collected.

Of course, when you use one of these services, you should acknowledge the fact that you will be marketed to and need to weigh the benefits of having a complete health dashboard available to you.  Nothing is free on the internet and if that trade-off makes sense to you, these two services are probably good choices.   Fingers crossed, Apple will get into the game.

Stay Healthy my friends!