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Google Health Closer To Reality

A peek at the service could arrive today

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The latest round of rumors about Google Health received mention in the Wall Street Journal, which could mean the service may be near an opening.

Sites like TauMed, Revolution Health, Kosmix RightHealth, and Microsoft’s HealthVault came into existence to address what some see as a growing need for centralized and portable health information. Google aspired to do more, ambitiously aiming for a much broader reach into medical records.

We may finally get a look at what’s been happening at Google Health. The service experienced some drama when its leader, Adam Bosworth, ditched Google in favor of a startup with similar health record aims. Since then, there has been little of substance about it beyond the occasional Marissa Mayer interview.

But with SMX West in full swing practically in Google’s backyard, it appears they will use the event to announce the opening of Google Health’s doors. The Wall Street Journal thinks so, claiming this will happen; Google did not comment.

They have a chicken or egg question to answer about the Google Health service. People will be invited to plug their health details into Google. In turn, Google will try to get healthcare providers and their myriad record keeping services to supply information about those patients.

The main idea focuses on having all the relevant health information, including treatments, prescriptions, and medical histories, in one place. This helps people who may be referred to specialist doctors or surgeons for assessments of conditions beyond what a general practitioner can determine.

Much has been made about the potential for accessing medical information in an emergency. The scenario of an unconscious patient being wheeled into an emergency room, someone who could benefit from one treatment over another due to pre-existing medical conditions, appeals to those who favor easily accessible histories.

The problem there comes from letting the doctors know such records for a patient exists. How would they be able to find this out from someone who’s unconscious and possibly without their ID on them?

That’s just one of many complexities a health record keeping service might face. The daunting task of assimilating patient data from healthcare professionals in multiple formats might be the most difficult, next to getting people to trust such a service.

Google Health will need to attract a lot of people willing to put their information in place. That way they can go to doctors and hospitals and say, look, all of these people want to be part of this, will you be part of it too?

Google Health Closer To Reality
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