HealthVault's timing seemed perfect. In 2007, personal health records were a buzzy technology and payers, hospitals and other health care players launched PHRs they hoped would usher in a new era of consumer-facing, consumer controlled health records.

Redwood, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. got into the game in a big way by unveiling HealthVault, a medical records manager/repository designed to collect and store data from multiple caregivers and let patients control access to their health information.

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