Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Google Health, Part 2

I found this on the Google Health site: To join, users must agree to various terms of use, including this: "When you provide your information through Google Health, you give Google a license to use and distribute it in connection with Google Health and other Google services." Doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling - do you feel better knowing that perhaps an old knee injury, or a diabetes condition may be "distribute[d]" by Google?

At the outset, there are companies such as Aetna and BCBS which have been in the online medical records business for some time. Google brings it together in 18 months ... and with only a limited set of partners, and an "advisory council."

Implementation: How will this work with the average consumer? I'm helping a client now who was badly injured in an incident. The medical records in this client's file from one incident exceeds 300 pages, none of which came to our office scanned. The client has an extensive history of medical problems, and this "unrelated" set of records is nearly 200 pages.

Let's presume that this person never went to an attorney, just had health issues. Person is more than age 50 - who scans 500 pages to upload to Google? Where does this person go to scan? Who will spend hours uploading?

From various sites, these comments:

One commentator says, "Early on, the program will rely mostly on a patient's own input because of the lack of partners outside of early signees such as The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and drug store chain Walgreens Co. "When it comes to lab data and medical history and those kinds of things, doctors rely today on reliable sources -- not the consumers themselves," Source here.

"Some observers have expressed concern that much of the information stored in Google Health will not be covered by the USA’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act." Source here.

My prediction- ads from Big Pharma will debut on the site within 12 months, and I will be shocked if 1% of the population uses this site. Stay tuned.