Microsoft and Aetna Partner On HealthVault Service

Posted Oct 22, 2008

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is partnering with Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) for HealthVault.  HealthVault is Microsoft service that gives medical recommendations to users that input their medical profiles.  Aetna is the first medical insurance company that has signed with Microsoft for HealthVault.

Aetna will give their customers the option to transfer their personal health records to HealthVault.  Mark Bertolini, President of Aetna stated that customers will be able to add and clinical data and past medical records to their profile.  Aetna believes that this initiative will help improve communication with their health insurance providers.

“We can avoid duplicate testing, we can avoid mistakes that occur as a result of not understanding the member’s complete condition,” stated Bertolini. “Because we don’t have a national health information technology network, this will stand as a first-generation of that kind of capability.”

The partnership marks a competitive step that Microsoft made against Google Health.

Users of HealthVault are allowed to control how much data and information is public.  Doctors, health insurance providers, and Microsoft officials are blocked unless given permission.  Aetna has health records for about 6 million customers.  That is 6 million potential HealthVault users assuming that they aren’t already signed up.

“Right now, we spend tens of millions of dollars answering the phone telling providers if a person is eligible or what their benefits are,” added Bertolini. “With the availability of this information, those calls go away.”