Ignore Bill Gates’ Health Care Nostrum

After several years of tormenting consumers and businesses alike with shoddy Internet Explorer, Office and Windows software rife with massive security holes, Microsoft is now peddling an Internet-based healthcare network.

On Thursday, Microsoft rolled out a web site called HealthVault to let individuals store and share personal health information online.

The company also rolled out a specialized health search engine called HealthVault Search on the HealthVault web site to provide online health content.

When Microsoft’s main search engine is floundering even after sucking in hundreds of millions of dollars in development costs, it’s hard to believe that this new health search engine will be worth anything.

Microsoft hopes that HealthVault will bring the health and technology industries together to develop new applications, services and connected devices. It has released a HealthVault software development kit for independent software vendors looking to build products and services on the HealthVault platform.

In an op-ed piece in today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Microsoft’s top honcho Bill Gates writes:

We envision a comprehensive, Internet-based system that enables health-care providers to automatically deliver personal health data to each patient in a form they can understand and use. We also believe that people should have control over who they share this information with. This will help ensure that their privacy is protected and their care providers have everything they need to make fully-informed diagnoses and treatment decisions.

Wow, what noble ideals!

But given Microsoft’s past track record of repeatedly delivering software with huge security holes in them, only the most gullible would entrust their precious health care information to this software company.

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