microsoft-logo.jpgMicrosoft has finally unveiled its first stab at managing personal health records on the Web, and it’s an interesting, if underwhelming, effort to give people control over their personal health information, writes David Hamilton, over at VentureBeat LifeSciences.

His full, first-take review on the service is here.

Microsoft appears to have sacrificed initial quality in exchange for pulling off the coup of beating Google’s similar project to the table. The rush to aggregate personal information doesn’t stop there; Cisco and Intel also have their own projects still in the works, according to the New York Times.

Both patients and doctors can to use Healthvault to enter medical records. Over time, data transfers from doctor’s offices and hospitals could become automatic, with patient’s approval.

Healthvault will also act as a portal for information, allowing searches for particular conditions or treatments. Any such searches would not be connected to stored data.

However, it does seem likely that some level of privacy will eventually be sacrificed in exchange for targeted advertising, an extremely lucrative proposition. Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer stated earlier this week that advertising would account for 25 percent of Microsoft’s income within a few years.

Whether patients will be willing to hand over their most private information to a giant corporation like Microsoft remains to be seen. The company claims that the process will be similar to consumer’s acceptance of online banking.