The last few weeks before HIMMS are always a flurry of activity in the Health IT ecosystem. I'm not sure if many messages really get through all the noise, but the pressure of having to deliver demos, deals and code definitely makes for a good forcing function in an industry where too often people are happy to "just wait another month."
For the HealthVault team, that means they're busy working through a ton of applications trying to get their services and applications hooked up to the production system. As I heard Lowell shout down the hall yesterday --- "It's Go-Live Season!"
Actually, it's not just HIMSS --- it's clear that the industry has really turned a corner on personal health. Never as fast as anyone would like of course, but we are seeing real acceleration in both the number and quality of applications and devices being built and connected to HealthVault.
Of course, in an environment as crazy as healthcare, having everybody ask "how can I get it done" makes for a ton of work. We've put our stake in the ground as the "hub" of information sharing for consumers and patients, which means we have to connect with anyone who wants to play. It's the right place for Microsoft to be, but it isn't easy. Because there is such huge variation of IT adoption across the healthcare ecosystem, those connections happen on everything from paper and faxes to any one of hundreds of clinical software packages or exchanges.
The end result is that, with so many options, getting started with HealthVault can be kind of daunting. Are you a native app or a linking one? Online or offline? Optional auth? SODA or DOPU or D2C? ABCDEFG? Ack! And of course, when you're running as fast as we are today, good documentation and guidance is always the last thing that gets taken care of.
The good news is, we have an incredible team of people who have built a ton of expertise over the last two years, helping partners figure out how to make their way through the noise to determine what makes sense for their situation.
Shamez is one of those folks-the kind of guy who can look at a situation, line it up against the HealthVault "toolkit," and articulate the key options and tradeoffs with remarkable clarity. I am really excited that he (with the help of others in the HealthVault team) has put together a fantastic document that tries to capture our best guidance in a way that allows us to "scale up" our ability to answer that omnipresent question: "how can I get it done?"
We've posted the document up on MSDN --- if you have any interest in the details of getting your application or organization connected to HealthVault --- I would strongly recommend checking it out: