Microsoft, Kaiser in health data swap pilot: report

Microsoft Corp Chairman Bill Gates speaks during a news conference in Tokyo May 7, 2008. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp and Kaiser Permanente, the biggest U.S. health maintenance organization (HMO), are working on a patient information exchange pilot program to help give patients more control over their health records, The Wall Street Journal said on Monday.

Similar efforts are underway at companies such as Revolution Health Group LLC and Google Inc, which launched its online healthcare service, Google Health, in February.

Data kept in Kaiser’s personal health records, which includes patients’ test results, prescriptions and immunizations, will be shifted to Microsoft’s HealthVault, a Web-based service that allows patients to store and manage medical data from a variety of websites and selectively share information with them, the paper reported.

Moves by technology companies, hospitals, insurers and the government to give patients more control and access to their medical information through technology are expected to help lower healthcare costs, it said.

The new program will initially be open to only the 156,000 employees of the Oakland, California-based healthcare provider, the WSJ said.

Reporting by Christopher Kaufman; Editing by Louise Ireland