HealthVault Emergency Prep: Safer Families

Since 2006 we’ve been building towards a pretty bold vision of families using HealthVault to make their lives healthier, safer and happier. We’ve built a ton of plumbing to set the stage for Microsoft and our partners to realize that promise --- creating connections to the healthcare system, adding mobile, medical images, secure messaging, information exchange, all kinds of stuff.

This week we’ve hit a real milestone in that journey, and frankly I’m so excited I’m about to burst. Last night when I saw the new version of HealthVault was live I recorded a little happy dance for the team --- something I’m not going to post here!

Describing a personal health platform for engaging with the health system is hard. Describing a tool that helps your family be safer in an emergency is easy. And that’s the message of our new release:

Give us five minutes, we’ll help make your family safer. Start here.

It’s totally free, so go ahead and give it a try; I’ll wait. :)

Having the right information available in an emergency really can mean the difference between life and death. It’s not rocket science: what are your active medications, allergies, conditions, blood type, emergency contacts. That’s what our emergency prep service is all about --- capture that information and make sure it’s available when you need it.

Once your information is saved in our secure cloud, right away you can print wallet cards for your family and share access codes that can be used to access the information over the web. But there are a bunch of emergency services out there, so what makes HealthVault different? Two really critical things, both resulting from HealthVault’s partner ecosystem strategy:

  1. It’s easy to connect your emergency profile to services like Walgreens and CVS that keep your information up to date automatically. We all get busy, and it’s great to know somebody has your back on this.
  2. Similarly, you can connect to great services like MedicAlert that ensure your information is in the hands of the folks that need it. MedicAlert’s jewelry and national call center is known to EMTs across the country, and they will pull the right information automatically from your HealthVault profile.

That’s the magic --- set up your profile once, use convenient tools to keep it up to date, and have it ready in a broad range of situations. We’ve already started discussions with other great organizations like the Next of Kin Registry that are working on making the information available to responders in their network. In fact, right now I'm flying back today from a trip to visit a potential partner that has me just over the moon --- wish I could say who! And of course, all of this is under YOUR control --- you get to choose who has access to your family’s information and who does not.

This is great work, and I am just so proud to see it come together. You can help too --- after you create your own family profiles, tell others about it. If you run or know of a web site that could help people discover the service, send our team a note at and we’ll set them up with a co-branded link that will send folks through the process and then return them to the referring site. And if you know of software that responders use where the information should be available, tell us that too. I will reach out to them personally to see if we can make it happen.

I really think we can make a measurable difference here. Thanks for being with us.