Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Google health

Google health is a new service offered by Google. It aims to provide a comprehensive web-based service where patients can store and manage all of their health related information in a secure electronic format and can share their medical information with their clinicians and pharmacies. All that is required to get started is a google account.

Anyone can build up their health profile by entering their health conditions, medications, allergies and lab results. Google has also teamed up with a number of health care units and pharmacies in the USA whereby patient medical reports can be imported and stored. Information is also available on various medical conditions and is made freely available to anyone. Users can also look up doctors and clinic details and have them saved in their profile and quick reference later.

This service is currently provided to users free of charge and the interface too is advert free. This is an excellent initiative by Google. There will be lots of murmurs as usual with regards to privacy and security. Google assures that the users will remain the custodians of data stored in their profile in spite of the data being stored on Google servers.

It will be interesting to see how this service evolves and is integrated into other country's health care set-up. At this point in time, it is primarily USA-centric but as with other services offered by Google, it won't be long before the service is offered in other countries too.

***Pictures courtesy Google Health

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