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Google Health Beta Officially Launches

"We're not a healthcare company, nor do we aspire to be one. But, there are lotsGoogle_Health.png 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! 


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8 Comments/Trackbacks

Although Google probably is in my opinion one of the most ethical internet based companies, placing all that power in one place has its risks and potential for abuse. Placing all of our health records to google health will only increase google's importance to us all.

Privacy is of upmost importance. However, that being said it will take very powerful organizations, like Google to lead such an effort.

This is very interesting and the first time I have heard of it. I will be watching this very closely to see what else Google can get their hands in.

google will not leave anything beyond his reach on web, sometimes this scares me.

For some of us in medical tourism this topic resonates and is a good sign that the technology, internet are actually making it easier for professionals (doctors, medical staff) and patients to connect. It seems that the days when your physician or assigned primary care medical group are going away - they spell higher costs. Where is Google's effort to place medical record into secure and accessible location for each patient makes it easier to choose place of treatment away from one that dictates higher costs. People want cheaper health care and this is one step forward. I trust Google to make it right.

I'm adopting a wait and see attitude because of the relationship with the new Obama administration!

We do expect responsible handling of people's very private data by Google. At the same time, people do need access to information about cheaper healthcare which does not compromise on quality.

Google continues its domination in the internet market.

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