REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. and TracFone Wireless on Thursday announced a collaboration that will bring the benefits of smartphone technology and services to underserved and high-risk populations through a new mobile health management solution offered through providers and insurers. This approach expands on Microsoft's commitment to healthcare and TracFone's telecommunications expertise as the largest Lifeline provider and prepaid wireless leader. Microsoft and TracFone will work with Health Choice Network (HCN), a Miami-based company that manages and connects a network of community health centers with more than 760,000 patients in 17 states, to conduct a pilot project where HCN will provide smartphones to diabetes patients to help them better manage their care.
Building on the success of TracFone's short message service, text and phone programs, the new solution will be offered on a Windows Phone and feature Microsoft's familiar suite of services and solutions, such as Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft HealthVault, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and a variety of smartphone applications. It will combine enterprise-grade security and privacy features to allow security-enhanced, HIPAA-enabled email and messaging communications to patients regarding their health and regimens. In addition, it will provide appointment reminders with calendar functionality and remote device management that is standard with a Windows Phone. "Putting existing technologies to use for today's patients will help improve healthcare, coordination and outcomes, as well as better manage costs," said Lee Stevens, director of Health Information Exchange Policy and Interoperability, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Combining the power of a smartphone with a personal health record platform that brings disparate data together in a secure environment is an important step toward the goal of providing better patient engagement and more mobile healthcare in the U.S." Windows Phone already has built-in enterprise-grade safety and security features, as well as the ability to offer security-enhanced, HIPAA-enabled communications through Office 365. These features help patients, health providers and insurers retain control over important personal health information.