Google Health Goes Live
During a nearly three-hour webcast this afternoon, Google revealed much of its "search factory," including the official unveiling of the Google Health service. Google Health leverages partnerships with medical organizations and pharmacies to help patients manage their health records online.
Google’s Marissa Mayer says Google Health puts "users in control of their own medical records" by allowing users data portability. Mayer gave examples of why this capability might be needed. Travelers who are away from their doctors, or patients who change doctors or seek second opinions would be able to access their medical history online.
Though Mayer says there are "literally thousands of partnerships to forge and petabytes of data to move around," Google has already forged partnerships with many organizations around the country, including the Cleveland Clinic, Walgreens, Quest Diagnostics, and MyMedicalRecords.com.
The obvious question at the top most minds is about privacy. Google has set up a special Google Health privacy page to address this and promises that only users are in control of their own data. Only the user and authorized health organizations, such as the ones Google has partnered with, will be able to access the information.
Alongside the release, Google launched the "Go for Good" campaign with the Cleveland Clinic, a program that promotes walking for health. Participants who finish the program requirements can influence donations to health charities.