"We're not a healthcare company, nor do we aspire to be one. But, there are lots of companies out there that are vertical domain experts. All of these company's will be able to integrate their platforms, applications and services with Google Health."
-Missy Krasner, product marketing manager for Google Health
After much fanfare, Google Health was officially launched this week. Michael McBride of Red Orbit is very excited about Google’s latest initiative, saying: “Why does Google Health have the industry all a-twitter? Because, it's the Internet, and if ever there was an invention that appealed to the majority of people, this is it. Studies repeatedly show that the portion of the population using the Internet to research medical conditions and medications is growing rapidly and shows no indication of slowing down.”
Although Google has the size and strength to make Google Health a viable tool, it will still have to overcome the obstacles that have prevented personal health records from becoming widely popular including:
1. Inertia: Will people be interested in using a personal health record from Google if their managed care provider is offering them already?
2. Trust: Who will protect your health information?
3. Fear of Marketing: Although Google is not selling advertising, it reserves the right to do so in the future. How will this stance influence those who are afraid Google will use their information to generate ad revenue?
I’ll be looking to see how Google and other companies overcome these problems and will report on my observations in the coming months.
In the meantime, explore Google Health by clicking here. It's a bit sparse right now, but Google plans to add new features and partners over the coming months.
Brief Blogging Break: As an aside, I'll be taking a brief break from blogging until late next week. Have a happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend!