Thursday, May 21, 2009

Google Health

Google has a new toy in their box: Google Health, which allows you to store and manage your health information in a central location. If you want to know more about it, read About Google Health.

One of the impressive looking features lets you import medical records. There's a page of links to providers of internet-based health records. If you know who has your records, you can set up an account with them and ask them to transfer your records to Google. They're supposed to be your records, after all. The problem for me is that I haven't a clue as to which provider may have my records. I guess my doctor might know.

Another potentially neat feature lets you add your medications to your profile. There are easy-to-use pull-downs for generic and brand name drugs, as well as appropriate selectors for dosage and frequency. All of this is conveniently hyperlinked to drug information sites. While it looks like an encouraging start, however, I'm already disappointed in what it doesn't do. There's a Prescription column that I cannot enter data into or edit. This is where I would hope to be able to put in my pharmacy's prescription number, expiration dates and related information.

Google Health is like a boat-load of lawyers sinking into the ocean: a good start. It's still flawed in the type of information that I would like to be able to put into it, but I'm willing to give it a tentative one thumb up.


MountainLaurel said...

Considering the security flaws that Google Docs has, this application terrifies me. It's a good idea in theory for patients and doctors as well but the potential problems with this are pretty scary.

Jeff Brandt said...

Google health is a Beta product and will have to change a lot before becoming release 1.0. There are others such as Microsoft working on the same problems. PHR are just one of the tools that are part of Health2.0 to help the patient to empower themselves to take more responsibility for their wellness.

PHR in the near future will play an important role in our healthcare. Like all things there are flaw when they are young. I for one am behind anything that can reduce the cost of healthcare and increase wellness.

Jeff Brandt