MICROSOFT SHUTTERS ITS HEALTHVAULT RESEARCH PROGRAM
Do you remember in 2017 when Microsoft announced HealthVault, an initiative to produce apps to offer analysis and user insights based on personal health records?
Microsoft decided in January that it wasn’t such a good idea or maybe that it wasn’t self-supporting, so it has been shut down. It is removing the apps associated with HealthVault Insights from iOS, Android and Windows app stores.
But the data that users collected will still be available on the HealthVault website.
Actually, we don’t know why Microsoft decided to shut it down. A statement on Microsoft’s website offered no explanation for the move, except to say that HealthVault Insights was merely a research project launched last year and that it had come to an end:
“We launched HealthVault Insights as a research project last year, with the goal of helping patients generate new insights about their health. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about how machine learning can be used to increase patient engagement and are now applying that knowledge to other projects. As part of this progression, we’ve made the decision to remove HealthVault Insights from the iOS, Android and Windows stores effective later this month [January]. This change will have no impact on the data users generated in HealthVault Insights which will continue be accessible via the HealthVault website.”
In 2016, Microsoft stopped offering an app for Windows mobile phones supporting HealthVault over what it said were compatibility problems in a letter to users.
It has been speculated that the research gathered from these apps could be applied to Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT projects, run by the company’s AI + Research Group. Microsoft officials have said HealthCare NExT’s mission is to provide personal health and wellness information to make healthcare “more proactive and holistic.” VTN