For The Hypochondriac In All Of Us: Microsoft Debuts Online Health Tools

Offered through the Microsoft MSN portal, My Health Info includes a number of applications for managing information consumers have stored in their Microsoft HealthVault accounts. My Health Info helps people monitor health conditions such as their blood pressure, research medical issues, get advice from medical experts, and read up on the latest health and nutrition news.

Online personal health record services have become a hot area of competition on the Web. Last year Google debuted Google Health for collecting, storing and managing personal health records online while Microsoft launched HealthVault, which provides similar services, in 2007. Those vendors join longtime personal health record service Web sites like WebMD.

Microsoft's My Health Info includes tools and widgets for users to upload, organize and monitor data in their personal HealthVault accounts, according to the company. They can customize their page using allergy, medication and blood pressure tracking tools, a body mass index calculator, vaccination information and a lab test results bank. Users also can add information from devices such as heart-rate monitors and pedometers.

My Health Info also allows users to access profiles of multiple family members at the same time, a feature Microsoft said will help caregivers manage the health-care information of those they are caring for.

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Microsoft also said it is launching a swine flu information center on its MSN Health & Fitness home page, offering information about the illness from the Harvard Medical School, and other sources.