Microsoft's Patient Plans

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Posted 2008-05-05 Print this article Print

title=Patients Take Control with 'Health 2.0'} 

The ultimate goal, Neupert said, is to provide ways for consumers to better understand their health and health information and to manage that information for themselves.

In order to have a holistic view of their health and health information, consumers must be able to move personal health information from the isolated silos in which it's currently stored into interlinked community computing platforms that function like software for users, said Ben Flock, Microsoft Health & Life Sciences Industry advisor.

Flock said Web 2.0 encompassed three basic prongs: rich Internet applications developed with technologies like AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and X M L), Silverlight and Flash; SOA (service-oriented architectures) like Web services, RSS feeds and mashups, and the social Web; and wikis, blogs, podcasts and social networking sites.

Web 2.0 technology, Flock said, can apply features like product and service ratings, information search, and social communities to make health care information more reachable and to make health care more socially relevant by empowering consumers.

The key, Flock said, is for Microsoft to adopt a Web 2.0 mind-set itself and reach out to partners, customers and consumers with platforms like HealthVault.

Eventually, the concept would evolve into what Flock called Health 2.0, which would expand Web 2.0 concepts to the entire health ecosystem of payors, providers, employers, consumers, life sciences entities and even the government. In short, Flock said, it would include any person or entity that could contribute meaningful data to inform, educate and empower health care consumers.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at

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