Both Google and Microsoft are working on programs that allow patients to store their medical information online, reports the MIT Technology Review. Google Health was released in May, 7 months after Microsoft's HealthVault. Both programs will eventually gather test results and info from hospitals and share them with doctors and other health care providers.
All patients have the legal right to their own medical records, but the information is often difficult to get. Many doctors and hospitals still don't use electronic records, and privacy advocates have expressed concerns. Microsoft and Google hope that the new tools will allow customers to feel a greater sense of ownership over their medical information.