Global Leaders Team Up to Give Portable Health Information to Medical Travelers

Today at the World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress held here, Microsoft Corp. and Bumrungrad International hospital, based in Bangkok, announced they have begun a phased rollout of a new service using Microsoft HealthVault, an online personal health application platform, with plans to offer the service to more than 1 million Bumrungrad patients beginning in early 2010. By connecting Microsoft HealthVault to its hospital information system (HIS) running on Microsoft Amalga HIS, Bumrungrad will empower patients to shop overseas for health care, access their Bumrungrad medical records online and maintain continuity with doctors at home and abroad.

Using HealthVault, patients who are treated at Bumrungrad will be able to gather, store and provide health information to doctors, family and others as they choose after receiving treatment. Bumrungrad is the first hospital to offer medical tourists connectivity with HealthVault.

Bumrungrad was the first internationally accredited hospital in Asia and is one of the most popular destinations for medical tourists. With more than 700 specialists, 200 of whom are American board-certified, Bumrungrad is recognized for providing affordable, high-quality surgeries and outpatient procedures. More than 45,000 American patients sought treatment at Bumrungrad in 2008. English is widely spoken, and the hospital employs more than 100 interpreters for dozens of other languages.

“Many Americans can’t and don’t want to wait for reform to come to them. They’re taking matters into their own hands, traveling for procedures such as a heart bypass or back operations,” said Curtis Schroeder, group CEO of Bumrungrad. “At Bumrungrad, they can get excellent care at a fraction of the American cost. And with HealthVault, they can share their medical records with doctors on both sides of the ocean — things like medical history, lab results and procedure details. We see it as a great innovation supporting continuity of care.”

“We believe empowering consumers with a copy of their personal health data and facilitating continuity of care among health care providers is critically important,” said Nate McLemore, general manager, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “We’re pleased to be working with Bumrungrad, a leader in international medicine, to offer these capabilities to patients and providers.”

By connecting its HIS to HealthVault, Bumrungrad is allowing patients to receive a copy of their medical information generated at Bumrungrad — including test results, medications and discharge summaries — into their individual HealthVault accounts. Once their personal health information is stored in HealthVault, the patient can provide it, as desired, to other clinicians and caregivers, or use it with a wide range of personal health applications.

Microsoft Amalga HIS is a comprehensive hospital information system that provides rich integration of a patient’s critical information, including registration, clinical systems, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, allergies and vital signs, giving clinicians and administrators access to information within and across departments. Once authorized by the patient, Bumrungrad uses Amalga HIS with the ASTM Continuity of Care Record industry-standard specification to push medical information to the patient’s HealthVault account.

Bumrungrad plans to also pull a patient’s medication lists, allergies and vital signs such as blood pressure and blood glucose from the patient’s HealthVault record into Amalga HIS, saving time for patients to provide their collected health information to Bumrungrad clinicians.

Patients who have embraced traveling overseas for health care, and have experienced great results, see the Bumrungrad-Microsoft relationship as a natural next step.

Jack Taylor, a 63-year-old pilot from Pasadena, Calif., sought routine health screening at Bumrungrad a year ago and has since gone back for additional procedures, including a colonoscopy. He believes easier tracking of his treatment with HealthVault will allow him to optimize his own health care.

“It makes it easier for all parties concerned, for me, my doctor, to access the details online. I’m really looking forward to this,” Taylor said. “If this is going to be my go-to health care provider going forward, I’m going to be building up a database on me. Whether it’s for BI to look at or any other specialists, that’s a good thing.”

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