The state of Washington spent $1.7 million to fund three pilot projects to prove the efficacy of health record banks. Two the projects used Microsoft's HealthVault as their foundation; the third, operated by Spokane-based Inland Northwest Health Services, chose to go with Google Health's online personal records storage service.

"We needed to get something up fast, and our tech guys felt that the application programming interface from Google Health provided the fastest way to interface with various EHRs and get the data flowing," says Jac Davies, director of Northwest Telehealth, a unit of Inland Northwest Health Services. INHS was formed in 1994 to develop data exchange services in the Northwest. It currently operates a health information exchange that links 34 hospitals via a centralized repository running on applications from Meditech.

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