MiVitals Can't Find Pulse For Online Health Records
Tuesday, April 21, 2009; 4:29 PM
Online health records is a rapidly growing segment of the health 2.0 world?Google Health, Microsoft's HealthVault, WebMD, Aetna?s SmartSource (via a partnership with Healthline), and Revolution Health (now part of Waterfront Media), are just a few of the many online platforms that let consumers organize their health records online in a secure portal.
In a space where you are competing with prestigious medical institutions and platforms backed by the largest tech companies in the world, there's not much room for the small, bootstrapped startup. Unfortunately, miVitals, an Australia-based startup that provides an online storage platform for consumer health records, will be shutting its doors in mid-May due to lack of funding. miVitals, which was primarily financed by angel investors, is a free service that let you store medical records, manage accounts for your family, schedule appointments, and share this information with your health care professionals.
It seems that in the online medical records sector, partnerships with pharmacies, medical professionals, and institutions are key to making the platform efficient and more consumer-friendly. At some point in everyone's lives, you realize the difficulty (and inefficiency) of getting your records faxed from a health care provider to an insurance company or another doctor. One of the primary virtues of an online database is that it streamlines the sharing process of medical records, and partnerships are key to making this process work. miVitals was lacking in this area; the startup had only developed partnerships with Australia-based medical companies and institutions despite the site's aim to be an international resource for consumers across the world. Google Health has partnerships with pharmacies (Google Health recently struck a deal with CVS), insurance companies, hospitals and labs to integrate data from medical professionals with consumer information.
HealthVault's online platform has been integrated with several large medical institutions over the country, including The Mayo Clinic, The Cleveland Clinic, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. And Microsoft has been able to sign in insurance companies-last year, Microsoft struck a deal with Kaiser to offer HealthVault's health record site service to Kaiser's members.
With competition coming from Google, Microsoft, WebMD, and more, it can be tough for a smaller competitor to find footing in the space. And the current economic crisis and lack of available funding isn't helping. Perhaps the death of miVitals a sign that there isn't room for small startups in the already crowded online medical records market.