Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Unhealthy Records

The Health Care Blog reports that rumors of Google Health's death may not have been greatly exaggerated. Based on investigations, they concludes that it "has been placed in a cryogenic state until the moribund consumer adoption of such tools comes to life."

Hm. I feel a wide range of complex emotions about this.

No, that's a lie, I only feel a narrow range of simple emotions.

Like: 'hm.' ('Hm' is totally an emotion.) A certain vague disappointment, perhaps. That's about it.

Because I did sign up for a Google Health account, and I even updated it a number of times, and I do like the idea of this sort of online health record, but...I haven't updated it recently (not in several months, I don't think), and it never really jumped up and made itself relevant in my life in any significant way, so saying that I'll actively miss it is kind of overstating things.

I am a bit curious what the Personal Genome Project is going to do, since they asked participants to fill out and link a Google Health record. I suppose they'll find some other way to manage this information.

A Matthew Douglass, commenting on the post, notes that Google Health is not HIPAA compliant, meaning the electronic medical records companies would not be interested in using it to update patients' info, and that "patients simply don’t know their own health information well enough to be able to regurgitate it into an online platform like this."

He argues, correctly it seems to me, that it's not that people don't care about this information, it's just that we don't know enough (and/or can't be bothered, at least speaking for myself) to update the records ourselves. For something like this to really be useful to a significant number of people, it will probably have to be automatically updated.

This all seems eerily familiar, and I just realized that's because I concluded pretty much the same thing the last time I saw The Health Care Blog wonder about the viability of Google Health, just about a year ago.

Clearly, I've been right all along. I knew it!


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