Important Google Health Service Announcement

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

I received an e-mail recently from the Google Health Service that Google Health will be discontinued as of January 1, 2012. According to the e-mail, after that date, users will no longer be able to access Google Health, and any third-party services that are linked to one’s Google health profiles, will no longer be able to send data to or receive data from those profiles.

I wrote about the long anticipated announcement of Google Health in May of 2008. The service launched to mixed reviews, and it wasn’t long after the launch date, that I heard barely anything further about the online health service from Google.

Google Health

According to Google, their goal when launching Google Health was to “create a service that would give people access to their personal health and wellness information.” After a few years of experience, Google noticed that the program was not having the broad impact they had hoped it would. While the service was reportedly being used by tech savvy patients and caregivers, and even wellness and fitness enthusiasts, they had failed to reach widespread adoption.

According to a Google Health related blog post, Google will continue to host information up to January 1, 2013. “Any data that remains in Google Health after that point will be permanently deleted.”

It’s unfortunate that this service did not work out for Google, but healthcare privacy concerns continue to be a hot topic, and it’s my opinion that a large majority of people still prefer to keep their personal health information off-line. It’s also sad that in 2011 my chiropractic office continues to see examples where hospitals and/or medical facilities are still relying on fax machines to transfer patient information. Add to that the problem of proprietary CD-ROMs that are 32-bit Windows XP accessible but fail to read on 64-bit platforms, operating systems like Windows 7 or even Windows Vista, and certainly not readable on Macintosh or Linux based operating systems.

It’s going to be a long time before the old ways of health care are modernized enough for provider and patient adoption. I’d like to say we are there already, but I see evidence to the contrary each and every business day. @ 11:42 pm | Article ID: 1323070949