Google Wants To Save Your Life (Or Help End It)

Pushes Google Health and advance directives

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Health issues are highly personal.  Some folks, for example, are scared of living for years on end without control of their bodies.  Others are terrified that a plug will get pulled moments before they make a total recovery.  And a certain search giant thinks both of these attitudes represent great reasons to start using Google Health.

A post on the Official Google Blog tells readers, "An advance directive allows you to determine your end-of-life wishes so that your family and doctor can honor them if you get sick and are unable to communicate."  It has the ability to save all sorts of people all sorts of pain, and whatever your age or condition, is something you should consider completing.

Google just wants to make sure its software is part of the equation, and as it turns out, Google Health can now process scanned paper documents.

So the post continues, "Google Health is now working with a leading advance directive provider, Caring Connections, that provides a free, downloadable form customized for all 50 states.  To complete your form, download it, print it out, complete it, scan it, and upload it to Google Health.  Once you’ve uploaded the signed form, Google Health makes it easy to share it with your caregiver."

Admittedly, this seems morbid and a bit opportunistic.  But the issue’s an important one, and this may prove an effective tack for Google to take.

Google Wants To Save Your Life (Or Help End It)
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  • http://www.nathancheeley.com/ Nathan Cheeley

    Because for a moment there I was certain I was on The Onion News. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  • http://www.free-speed-reading.com/ Free Speed Reading

    Why does Google see this as a relevant and worthwhile way to spend their time? Why not work on something a little closer to the idea of their search engine.

  • http://lancepat.wordpress.com Lance’s Blog

    Is there anything Google won’t do?

  • http://www.totheglobe.info Ana Taylor

    Google search engine is good. I can find everything from it.

  • http://www.earthfriendlybiz.com/Financialfreedom Yvonne Finn

    Here is a case for not giving others power over us and then blaming them when they abuse it.

    Google may want this information and their intentions may be less than altruistic, but they cannot force us to do this very unwise thing.
    Let us take responsibilty for our decisions.

    If it feels wrong, it usually is!

    So, no!
    I for one will not be storing my medical records with Google.


  • http://doneinstyle.com doneinstyle

    And I just don’t trust Google not to capitalize on it, privacy be damned.

    These sorts of aps are just the camel’s nose under the edge of the tent.

    Why would you entrust your PERSONAL information to Google? Wouldn’t it be better to just draw up a similar document and keep it in a fireproof box in your house, as well as in a safe deposit box? Geez . . .

  • http://www.books4smarts.com Health Care Reform

    Google seems bent on diversification, which is a good thing, more so if you bought the stock at 17, however, this new thing I fear may be stepping on the crack so to speak.

    The way to do this might be a combination of using a U3 Access system in combination with the actual records.

    but then again, the idea of storing data like this online is alarming…

  • http://www.abundantace.com/ ace

    Nice way of planting seeds of doubt. I would agree. What reason is there for one to put medical records online? Why does one need Google to share medical records with others?? What is wrong with making photocopies of records and just handing papers to people??

    People in this day and age are either becoming more lazy or more stupid.

  • Guest

    Google is becoming very intrusive and surprisingly people are falling for it. Their company mission is to gather ‘control(?)’ call information. Why in the world would anyone put their medical records of any type on Google servers? Give the instructions to family members and a doctor and then carry a paper with their numbers on your person. You can laminate it, even. Google is evil. Look at one of their founders who pal is the High Priest Gore of global warming. He got married in the Caribbean and flew , what, 600 of his closest friends to it. Great way to save the earth, unless you realize what Gore and he wants, they don’t save it, they are the chosen messengers telling you to save it and do without.

    • http://www.webspawner.com/users/mrlemarquis/index.html mrlemarquis (iwmpop)

      Well – if it’s intrusive, why are you replying? Go to Microsoft and install all those things that spy on you but don’t give you the chance to say no!
      I can well imagine you are either a religious nut or just jealous.
      Clearly you have a problem with identity and spies – “Guest” – you’re mocking the some 260,000 people in the World who port this name, but you still try to remain A. NONY. MOUSE.
      The “mouse” bit is correct!

  • Guest

    Come on, folks, Google is a business; there is nothing altruistic about them wanting our medical records on-line………follow the money trail!

  • http://www.webspawner.com/users/mrlemarquis/index.html mrlemarquis (iwmpop)

    Don’t know and don’t care if Google spy on me. So long as they don’t ask me to pay for their GREAT apps and programmes….! Only people with things to hide need be fearful – like the British, who refuse all sorts of things like ID Cards etc..

    • uh oh

      I see sheeple.

      Please educate yourself on what’s currently happening around the world, including and most especially, within the USA.

      Since you love google so much use them and search for “Alex Jones”

  • http://www.inquireservices.com Michael E. Gonzales

    Medical records should not be recorded on public web site. As I have read the comments, most have responded that why not? Your medical records are the formulation of your DNA. You want someone to copy cat you for their benefit? Medical records are protected by law. Why?, because it your idenity. How dose this respond to HIPPA?

  • Guest

    Posting any medical information on the web is dangerous and can be incriminating to anyone with a health condition if their information is made public. That is why there are HPPA regulations that secure a person’s privacy. A person can be denied a job or insurance or evn a personal relationship if their medical information is exposed.

  • http://threads.ecrater.com Threads Vintage Bohemian Woodstock Wear

    I can’t come up with any reason to post any personal information online, much less health records! lol ๐Ÿ˜€

    People aren’t really doing it… are they?

    Gosh google, thanks, but… er… um, no thanks! lol ๐Ÿ˜€

  • http://www.terapiasinteligentes.com Armando

    Come on! Google is a business maker, nothing for free. I just would not like to share my health condition with everybody. It is something private.

  • http://www.beyondbeddingusa.com Beyond Bedding Usa

    Plain and simple, this is a personal choice with variable reasons for utilizing this service or not. Everyone is encouraged to have a living will on file at their doctor

  • James

    Can I get a mortgage through Google Next? When are the Google Electric Cars going to hit the market? Talk about completely diluting and destroying a brand name…

    Way to go guys… Monopolize the industry and then use your unfair advantage to coner every other market in the world.

    Stick in your own industry… Or at very least… Create new companies with your resources… jmo…

  • http://www.touring-berlin.de Guest


    • http://www.interester.com Adams Ken

      sometime i dont believe on Google

  • http://www.touring-berlin.de Guest

    It’s not a math question – it’s an arithmetic question.

  • Guest

    What are they upto.

    They keep going on about Microsoft being a manopoly? That are they trying to do.

    Google is over stepping the mark on this one. I think the goverment and google are working on something covert.

    Google — I’m of to BING!

  • http://www.collegeofpublicspeaking.co.uk Vince Stevenson

    This all seems a bit strange and a bit intrusive. Not for me thank you. Rgds Vince

  • Conspiracy 101

    Google already admitted they save EVERY search made on their search angine, and definitely your IP address too.

    My thoughts? Google is controlled by the government. Do we need Big Brother deeper in our lives? Not me.

    George Orwell is starting to look like an optimist.

  • http://www.catherinewhite.wordpress.com Catherine White

    Google are in bed with the pharmaceutical companies who are criminals, raiding people’s purses when they are most vulnerable.

    What next Google, a pitch for a share of the tobacco dollar.


  • http://www.lightenupbikes.com Scott

    People will do it. THAT”S the frightening thing.

  • Jayne Cambra

    NO ONE and I mean NO ONE is allowed to use, abuse, sell, post, degrade ANYONE’s medical records!!!!

    Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

    Is Google turning Communist on us now?

    It’s the Law and I don’t care who you are (especially Google);
    do not even try to arrange it where anyone can post medical records.

    If you don’t know what HIPAA is go here:

    If you want to know the Law go here:

    Or go to your local Law Library.

  • http://arcademprosoftware.com Guest

    I handle all sorts if medical records. There is no way Google should EVEN consider posting them online. Medical information is protected under HIPAA and the penalties of violating those protections are huge. Begins to get me wondering just who the puck is in charge at Google’s upper echelon to even let those kind of rumors out?

    Sounds like Google is following AOL’s lead….destined to failure with bad, bad decisions.

  • Guesteric

    to hell with google.they spy on everything you look at on the web.anyone who stores medical records on google is a certified moron.

  • Guest

    Google are in the business to make money they sell informaton. save your medical record with google and you will be inundated with offers from pharmacutical companies and spamers trying to sell you fake cures for your ailments or offering miracle cures for terminal ailments. Plus insurance companies would sure a hell like to get access to yor medical records, Not a good idea?

    • Guest

      Nice one there

  • RD

    I strongly recommend not to give Google any confidential information or your medical records. Google, privacy and trust should not be used in the same sentence. You’ll sell your soul to them. Your house my appear someday labeled as an HIV survivor’s house in Google Map with your name all over it. Democrats will be in power for awhile so you don’t know what can happen to your privacy laws tomorrow. Bunch of communists.

    • Guest

      oh shut up – democrats are not communists and I am pretty sure those of us who are liberal are just as concerned with privacy issues as others. Why does it have to be political? All political bickering ever does is lead people to not take on real problems… and news flash both parties are bought and paid for by lobbyists and those with agendas…

      • Guest

        WTF does being a democrat hace to do with Google and data privacy?

        I thought the privacy nuts were out in left field… Apparently it’s the ignorant political f**ks who are now the most crazy people out there…

  • Information seeker

    Advance Directives are legal and important documents indicating your own desires regarding terminal or end of life care. When they are not in place, nightmares occur, not only for the patient, but for the family.

    With Google, I see 2 issues: promoting Advance Directives in a public service forum; and, possibly some opportunity to post these directives. The first is very important. I have seen this with my own family and in a professional capacity. The idea of posting or downloading such information on a public forum seems dubious at best.

    Advance Directives need to be in places of importance: your Doctor’s office/your medical file, with important papers, on your hospital chart when your are an inpatient, even on your refridgerator (or an obvious location) for paramedics, etc. to see. The case of Terri Shivo in Florida was an extreme example of political football with human life. I doubt that Terri would have wanted such a lack of respect at the end of her life. But, there was no Advance Directive to state her desire; only grieving family who could not let go.

    We could choose to be paranoid about anything, especially if we do not have the facts. The key word here is choice. We still have that option.

    • Ken Wildy

      I am in Australia, a professional Nurse, on a End Of Life Committee and see this from three sides. Patients, Family or Legal Care Persons and Professional aspects.

      Firstly let us get TERMS CORRECT> It is in fact ‘An Advance Care Directive’ i .e. A C D..not an A D.

      Yes it is legal;howerver if you have Legal Capacity as per clinical requirements you can make it out, get it witnessed by two persons of legal age; you do not have to go to a Solicitor.
      You can lodge it with your GP or MO and let you family know if you desire too.
      It would be wonderful to see an electronic ‘chip’ on your Medicare Card, Drivers Lic, All hard plastic that you can carry with you 24/7 so in the event of any ambo calls they can swipe the card and see if you do have an A C D and whom to contact. You cover yourself.
      I can but state it is not easy as we will all die, however if we can take control, ease our pain and lessen the pain of loved ones, what can more we do when we no longer can speak for ourselves.
      Let our written word be made clear: if you are an organ donor let this be known in your A C D..it is your body.
      Trust yourself, seek advice if you want, but why burden others when you can act now for your time of death.

      This is written so others may contemlplate, re-visit their thoughts on A C D’s..and please never think web-electronic-data is safe..cause ‘it ain’t honey..no way’
      Thanks..for your time

  • http://godhistoryandyou.blogspot.com Christina

    It’s just that anything posted online anywhere is potentially ‘up for grabs’, so…seems a bit dicey to me…

    This much I’ll say, I think somebody has an Agenda! Google may or may not be complicit, but I’d err on the side of caution.

    Advanced Directive info is definitely essential, but there are other options for storing & communicating it, other than online. And what if the choice was, DON’T pull the plug, and some kind of computer error, virus, etc. somehow directed otherwise.

  • http://www.Benefitstrustfundonline.com Benefits Website

    Really wondering how Google will solve the issue of HIPAA compliance with cloud computing if they plan to store health data in a cloud environment. HIPAA requires extensive logging of data, logging of access to data, encryption and many other steps. Additionally considering that as of January 1, 2010 Google like other data providers will have the same civil and criminal liability as health care providers for data, they are taking on a massive potential liability should they ever violate the regulations (nevermind loss of data).

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