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Walgreens boosts patient access to data via partnership with Microsoft HealthVault

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DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens and Microsoft are joining forces to create an expanded online portal through which patients can access and share their personal prescription history.

That access will be provided by Microsoft HealthVault, a Web-based platform that allows its users to gather, store and share their health information. In addition to prescription information, patients can use HealthVault to store copies of their health records obtained from their other providers’ insurance plans, government or employers. They can also upload information from health and fitness devices; and share information with health care providers and trainers, Walgreens announced Wednesday.

Registered Walgreens.com users are already able to access their prescription histories for refills, tax purposes or personal use. Patients who enroll in the new service will be able to securely add their Walgreens prescription history to HealthVault, and the information will be automatically updated daily, according to the retail pharmacy and software giants.

“Connecting Walgreens.com with HealthVault will offer patients a simple way to track their medications and share that vital information with health care providers, who can help patients get the most benefit from their drug therapy,” noted Walgreens spokesman Robert Elfinger in a statement. “Patients who enroll in this new service will be able to securely add their Walgreens prescription history to HealthVault, and the information will be automatically updated daily.

“Users will then be able to share their most up-to- date health information with their providers,” he added.

Don Huonker, Walgreens’ SVP health care innovation, said the new service “will make it easier for patients to share their information with multiple health care providers and even their caretakers, who can also be granted access to a patient's account with their permission.

“While many patients are already using Walgreens online pharmacy to access their prescription history, they don't always provide that information to their doctors,” he added.

HealthVault will also allow parents to track their children's medical history as well as older relatives whom they may be caring for.

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