I don't normally blog about our products per se, but today marks an important milestone for Microsoft shipping solutions that are important signposts toward the future -- the transformation of healthcare.

The first is the launch of the Mayo Clinic Health Manager powered by HealthVault -- the focus of this solution is to enable the 'family health manager' to organize her information in one place and receive customized recommendations. The second is New York Presbyterian’s realization of a ‘connected health environment’ that brings together information on the clinic or hospital side using Amalga and extends it to patients through the introduction of via HealthVault. Each of these solutions concretely demonstrates how collaboratively we can move health systems forward today -- connecting users with their clinical information and providing interactive, personalized tools to empower them further.

The HiTech stimulus and health reform policy debates acknowledge the importance of information technology in transforming the health system...however questions remain about the how and shape of that transformation. Last week, I finished the Innovator's Prescription by Clay Christensen et al., which I strongly recommend to folks trying to understand the types of disruptive innovation that can and should occur in the health ecosystem to improve outcomes and change the cost dynamic. The books brings a new vocabulary that can help advance the discussion -- and highlights the importance of new business models in creating innovation. We need a different business model to deal with chronic care and prevention. I am confident that technology in general and the type of technology we are building and deploying with these innovative leaders in particular is critical to enabling these new business models.

It is exciting to go from ideas -- to plans -- to prototypes -- to actually shipping solutions that tear down the walls of data silos and begin the journey of using liberated data to deliver new solutions for consumers/patients. We are still early in this journey, and I look forward to getting feedback from users -- consumers, clinical users and IT professionals -- on how to improve the capability and usefulness of our solutions.