On February 25, Microsoft announced a $3 million dollar effort called the Microsoft HealthVault Be Well Fund . The initiative is designed to "empower providers with targeted funding to stimulate the research and development of online tools that improve health." Microsoft expects to fund approximately 20 qualified institutions with an average award of $150,000 (maximum of $500,000). Indirect costs are not funded by the Microsoft proposal. Proposals must be submitted by May 9, 2008 12:00 (noon) PST and notification will occur no later than July 1, 2008.
Microsoft envisions a range of application areas, including but not restricted to (quoting):
Primary Prevention Applications (Track 1)
Proposals targeting primary prevention could help people and caregivers create and maintain strategies that prevent or delay onset of disease by reinforcing healthy lifestyle factors and addressing modifiable risk factors such as hypertension and weight.
Secondary Prevention Applications (Track 2)
The identification of major modifiable risk factors (such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, smoking, obesity and inactivity) is a prerequisite to the implementation of preventative interventions â known as secondary prevention. Proposals in this category could help people and their caregivers measure things such as blood pressure, lipid profile components (LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides), diet and nutrition, weight, smoking, and activity level to create the optimal plan to prevent or delay morbidity and acute care.
Acute Care Applications (Track 3)
Certain conditions require immediate diagnosis and treatment, whether at the doctorâs office or in an urgent care setting. Proposals targeting acute care scenarios might track progress, improve communication and share data between the silos in the healthcare system, providing caregivers with a longitudinal view of a patientâs health history that ultimately may lead to superior outcomes.
Health conditions in children often require specialized detection, diagnosis and treatment. Parents typically become eager partners in the plan of care, and seek information specifically related to their childâs condition. Proposals focusing on juvenile disease management might provide age-appropriate tools to help children, parents and caregivers understand and manage their conditions.
Womenâs Health Management Applications (Track 5)
Womenâs health issues can be complex and are often influenced by biopsychosocial and environmental factors. Proposals targeting this track might choose to create online tools or services that help manage health within the context of lifestyle and family.
Community and Social Health Applications (Track 6)
Patients and caregivers dealing with illness or people interested in wellness are increasingly sharing information and support with each other through various Web-based social applications. Proposals targeting this category might include applications for health in areas such as collaboration, communication and the use of social relationships to improve care.