Microsoft has released a new software and services platform, HealthVault, to help people store and manage their health information online, as well as search for health information. This looks like an excellent resource for use by people in disaster-prone areas, such as hurricane and tornado alleys. Keeping health-related records “off-site” through a service such as HealthVault would enable people who are suddenly displaced to retrieve information about prescriptions, medical records, etc. from anywhere. We know, from the lessons learned courtesy of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, that many people who were forced to evacuate were not able to remember the names of their medications in many cases, recalling only the color and the number of pills they usually took.
Could promoting this be a role for librarians, especially in hospital settings?