Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Google Health

Google Health: " Google Health allows you to store and manage all of your health information in one central place. And it's completely free. All you need to get started is a Google username and password. Google believes that you own your medical records and should have easy access to them. The way we see it, it's your information; why shouldn't you control it?

* Keep your doctors up-to-date
* Stop filling out the same paperwork every time you see a new doctor
* Avoid getting the same lab tests done over and over again because your doctor cannot get copies of your latest results
* Don't lose your medical records because of a move, change in jobs or health insurance

With Google Health, you manage your health information — not your health insurance plan or your employer. You can access your information anywhere, at any time."

Google Health is finally here ! This is great news for patients, as google health offers many clever tools patients can use to get control of their medical treatment.

It's primarily an aggregator service right now, which brings together services from many different providers, to help patients solve their problems.

I especially like the following.

1. An easy to use interface ( which is what one would expect from google ) !
2. Links to services which offer to digitise your personal records, so they can be uploaded to google. I think this is going to be a big breakthrough, as people now have an easy and inexpensive way of storing their information online. Most potential PHR users find this to be a huge problem, and don't know how to input all their old records . For a fee, many service providers ( such as MyMedicalSummary) will do this for you and google provides links to many of them. This allows you to populate your Google Health Profile without having to enter all the data manually - which can be a very tedious exercise !
3. Links to clever services such as MyDailyApple which allow users to use the information stored in their Google Health profile to customise and personalise health searches.

I find it fascinating that many of the new innovations which are coming in healthcare longer seem to be related to new drugs or technology. Many of them now are about how consumers can get more control over their own healthcare - and this is a excellent paradigm. Doctors are going to have to get their acts together to handle this new group of empowered and powerful patients. Empathetic doctors, who put "patients first", will welcome this change, as it will make their job much easier !

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