About a year ago we posted a piece that basically summed up Google Health as on its death bed. Google, of course was quick to defend itself saying that Google Health was very much alive and well. We even had a long conversation with the senior leadership of Google Health who told us they were taking Google Health in a new direction, had been doing a significant rebuild of the underlying architecture which culminated in a “new” Google Health which had far greater focus on health and wellness. They even went so far, in very uncharacteristic fashion to give adoption numbers. Granted, those adoption numbers were only those from users of the Android App CardioNet, but hey, it was something.

Beginning in late March 2011, we started hearing the rumors of the impending demise of Google Health once again (is this becoming some sort of annual thing with Google Health?). We waited a few weeks to see if the rumors would die down, they did not. We put a call into Google Health to set up a briefing, get an update. Response back was slow (one yellow flag). When they did get back to us, they said it will be at least a couple of weeks (two yellow flags). Next, our Google contact told us by email that they were going to hand Chilmark’s inquiry off to Google’s PR department (screaming dark orange flag). And now today, we received an email from one of Google Health’s most visible spokespersons, Missy Krasner that she is leaving Google.

There is now no doubt in our mind that the Google Health development team has been dis-banded and Google Health has been placed in a cryogenic state until the moribund consumer adoption of such tools comes to life. It would be far to big a PR nightmare for Google to completely pull the plug on Google Health as they have done in the past with other less then stellar launches. No, they’ll put an engineer or two on Google Health to keep it up and running but don’t expect anything new out of Google Health for at least the next 5 years. This baby is frozen.

John Moore is an IT Analyst at Chilmark Research, where this post was first published.

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8 Responses for “Google Health Put in Stasis”

  1. MD as HELL says:

    That should be a loud last word on the public’s desire for accessing their medical records. THEY DON”T CARE.

  2. It is a common misconception that Google stores and maintains patients’ medical records. Their approach with the Google Health project was to provide a place for patients to enter in their own information and/or hope that EMR companies would have a great desire to use Google Health as their PHR front-end. No responsible EMR company would adopt this approach–primarily because Google Health refused to make their system HIPAA-compliant.

    The ultimate flaw in their approach was that patients simply don’t know their own health information well enough to be able to regurgitate it into an online platform like this. Nor will they take the time to track this kind of day-to-day information until it’s too late.

    At Practice Fusion, we’ve found that consumers of healthcare (patients) have a *very* healthy appetite for accessing/viewing/contributing to their medical record. But only if their medical record is secure, free to access, easily consumed online, and populated near-realtime by their trusted physician.

    Claiming that patients don’t care about their own medical record history/details, and pointing to this development at Google as evidence of that assertion, is wildly uninformed and not at all based in reality.

  3. MD as HELL:

    50% of Americans find keeping track of their health info difficult. http://bit.ly/jMW1Wd

    Glad you are not my doctor.

  4. Charles says:

    Sorry to hear that. I found it useful to keep track of my wife’s numerous conditions, medications and drug allergies. (SLE patient for the last 17 years, with way too many complications and seeing doctors in 3 hospital systems.) The Docs and hospital staff are wowed when I would pull out my iPad and show them her current medications and history. Since no hospital system here use GoogleHealth it was on me to keep it current. Big pain.

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  6. Ernest Wong says:

    The health industry will game payers any way they can.

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