Microsoft and TracFone Wireless have partnered to offer an innovative mobile health management solution to high-risk populations in the US.
Building on TracFone’s short message service, text and phone programmes, the new solution will be available on Windows Phone, run on the Windows 8.1 operating system and feature a suite of Microsoft solutions – including Office 365, HealthVault, Dynamics CRM. Offering various smartphone applications, the solution will also combine enterprise-grade security and privacy features to enable patients to receive Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) enabled e-mail and messages. In addition, it will provide appointment reminders with calendar functionality and remote device management.
Windows Phone already has built-in enterprise-grade safety and security features, as well as the ability to offer security-enhanced, HIPAA-enabled communications through Office 365. These features help patients, health providers and insurers retain control over important personal health information.
"Putting existing technologies to use for today’s patients will help improve healthcare, coordination and outcomes, as well as better manage costs,” said Lee Stevens, director of health information exchange policy and interoperability at the US Department of Health and Human Services. “Combining the power of a smartphone with a personal health record platform that brings disparate data together in a secure environment is an important step toward the goal of providing better patient engagement and more mobile healthcare in the US.”
Microsoft and TracFone will collaborate with Health Choice Network (HCN), a Miami-based company that manages and connects a network of community health centres with more than 760,000 patients in 17 states, to pilot the solution. HCN will provide Windows Phones with TracFone’s prepaid services to diabetes patients to boost their involvement in their healthcare plans and help them to better manage their care.
The pilot’s goal is to demonstrate how access to mobile technology can help improve patient compliance, education and ultimately disease-related outcomes. HCN will develop a customer application to help participants provide consent, deliver and receive reminders, understand their treatment plans, and aid in disease self-tracking for blood sugar levels and other vital health information. Patients will also have access to a variety of apps, including several that are specific to diabetes care, and other mobile devices connected to Microsoft HealthVault to ensure the personal health records are pulling information from any devices they regularly use to help monitor important health information.
“For several years, our patients with chronic health conditions like diabetes have benefited from access to their personal health record in HealthVault,” said Kevin Kearns, president and CEO, HCN. “We are excited to include a mobile smartphone to extend the platform for patient engagement and enhance our ability to provide, connect and use the tools to drive better outcomes. This is particularly timely as we focus on the tremendous growth in the Medicaid and individual market, whose enrolees traditionally are at higher risk for chronic disease and benefit the most from patient engagement.”
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