Google Health Launches Beta. Should we be scared?

Today’s announcement that has the echo chamber a buzzing is Google‘s launch of their health vertical, known as Google Health. For those that care about this space, we expected Google to launch this platform towards the end of February. As you can see from the image below, this is an ambitious plan to become the de facto standard for web based health applications.

Google aims to provide:

  • Tools to find a doctor
  • Tools to import medical records
  • Profile to house any and all medical information you choose to publish (privately), including previous test information

As you can see in the image below (credit Techcrunch), this can make some people uneasy. People are terrified about having their medical history on a third party host, and we all have no idea how Google aims to monetize this service. Are they going to use this data to help deliver ads to you? Who knows.

What we do know is this, Google is taking a bold stand to take on an industry, that is so stuck in its ways. Someone needs to take the first step, deal with the PR questions and get us to think differently about the end goal of this sort of service. This can be really advantageous for sites such as SavvyDoc, since we don’t have the resources to answer all of these questions (outside of the savvydoc blog), but we can explain how Google’s vision is the future of medicine. I’m excited with this release, and hopefully we can move forward to enabling all of us to make more informed decisions. Whether we decide to participate is our own choice, and not one I can or should judge, but giving those the opportunity is what I’m excited about. Not everyone should participate for a slew of reasons, but we need to take the first step in improving this broken health care system.

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