Health 2.0, Project Blue Button, and the Community Health Data Initiative

imageThis week many of my colleagues in our Health Solutions Group will be attending Health 2.0 in San Francisco. They will be demonstrating some of the cool connectivity that Todd Park (see photo below), CTO of the US Department of Health and Human Services, discussed on this week’s Health Tech Today Program.

imageOn our program, Mr. Park mentions project “Blue Button”. People who have health records with the VA or Medicare will be able to press a blue button and download their personal health information from existing VA or Medicare records. This information can then be made available to cloud platforms like Microsoft HealthVault where it becomes the foundation for all kinds of health-related services. HealthVault also provides connectivity to dozens of medical devices in the home. This allows the consumer to track, store and share health data and physiological information captured by these devices with whomever he or she chooses; family members, caregivers, or clinicians. My colleague, Sean Nolan, will be doing some live demos of this connectivity at Health 2.0.

Also on Health Tech Today this week, Mr. Park brought up another very exciting initiative; something called the Community Health Data Initiative. He used the analogy of the way the federal government makes weather information gathered by various agencies available to third party developers and businesses. By sharing this data, the government makes it possible for developers and businesses to create entirely new and very robust services for the general public. The government holds more population health data on its servers than any other entity. By making this data available to developers and businesses, Mr. Park envisions the creation of a wide variety of powerful new information sources and services for our citizens on health and healthcare. The HHS site,, is a step in this direction.

If you would like to learn more about some of the work Microsoft is doing to help connect consumers with their health data, and how our solutions will help connect with data made available by project Blue Button and the Community Health Data Initiative, please visit Sean Nolan’s Family Health Guy Blog. If you happen to attend Health 2.0 in San Francisco, be sure to visit Sean’s demos and please tell him “hello” from Dr. Bill.


Next week I’ll be speaking at the World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany. To my international readers, I hope to see you there.

Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft

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