Take charge of your information with Google Health

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

After more than two years in development, Google finally announced their health information service yesterday, dubbed Google Health. The service is intended to put consumers in charge of their health information, by offering a safe, secure, and free place to store and organize health-related data. The service is currently in beta status, but it’s now available for public use. I signed on for a personal account so I can learn more about the service and share what I’ve learned with you.

screenshot of Google Health profile(photo: screenshot of information seen on Google Health page after logging in)

Looking at the screenshot above, there are four calls to action on the main screen. You can add information to your health profile, you can import medical records, you can explore online health services (and locate tools online for managing your health), and you can find a doctor (by name, location, and specialty.

When I first began reading the news regarding this new service, it sounded like it was primarily a way to store drug related information and various types of medical records. It wasn’t until after I signed in that I noticed there were features for nearly every specialty of health care one could think of. My initial reaction is of great delight, I’m impressed.

The first thing I jumped to was Find a doctor to see what specialties were available. Yes, Chiropractors are on the list, along with acupuncturists, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, dentists, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, oncologists, vascular surgeons, and nearly every other specialty of health care.

So Google Health is intended to allow one to take charge of their health information. The service is free, and Google assures that it’s safe and secure to use. If you have a Google gmail account, a Google reader account, or subscribe to any number of other Google services, the Google Health interface should appear familiar to you.

Some key advantages to using this new service is 1) the ability to organize all your health information in one location. 2) Interface to gather all your medical records from doctors, hospitals, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and pharmacies. 3) Have a way to share that information with your new and existing health-care providers. 4) Keep up-to-date on important health issues.

Google says that all health information is stored securely and privately, and they will never sell your data. You, the user, gets to choose what information you want to share with others, and what information you want to keep private. Be sure to read the site’s privacy policies for more information.

Ready to check it out? You can sign on here… http://google.com/health

planetc1.com-news @ 11:23 am | Article ID: 1211307850