Google Health Service Enters Pilot Stage

February 22nd, 2008
Bill Lazorik

Google HealthGoogle launched a pilot for its health profile service, Google Health, in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic. The clinic already has a sophisticated internal electronics record system, but patients are not able to access their records remotely. Patients will request to have their records uploaded to Google Health and will be able to access their records online and view, print, or share that data with other health providers. Microsoft launched their health profile offering, HealthVault, last October. The electronic health profile space is going to be a hot topic in the upcoming years. Today Hospitals, Doctor Offices, and Pharmacies have advanced internal systems, but are still disconnected despite major advances in web technology. Offices still fax records and mail imaging results back and forth. Often the quickest and most reliable method for transferring records is to have the patient physically carry the records to each location. The lack of portability is in part due to an industry with many competing software developers that don’t work to connect their technology platforms. Google and Microsoft have an opportunity make a major impact on this industry and the lives of millions of people if they can put the patient in front of profit. Both are members of the DataPortability alliance, and though that organization is primarily focused on portability of online identity, hopefully some of the same sentiment is seen in these health services. By cooperating to connect their offerings they can lead the way on an industry standard for portable health information. They can then put combined pressure on the smaller software vendors to incorporate the standard into their products. The government also needs to get involved by updating HIPAA and providing new standards for patient privacy without stifling innovation. Patients deserve a system that allows easy access to the information that belongs to them and delivers better care at reduced costs.

Previous Google Health coverage
Microsoft launches HealthVault

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