TECH/HEALTH2.0: Marissa Mayer speaks Google Health

At Web2.0 Summit yesterday (no, Matthew isn’t important enough to be invited to apply for a ticket, but I met a VC for lunch there so I knew it was happening!) Google’s new (and presumably temporary) head of health care Marissa Mayer gave some more details about what’s coming.

First, it’s supposed to be arriving in early 2008.

Second it’s going to have in it the already leaked PHR components, and it will include a rumored (but I don’t think confirmed to this point), physician directory. More interestingly apparently While some parts of the system will be free, she says, the health care services and applications could be subscription-based.

Google hasn’t really done subscription based services to this point, and consumers haven’t exactly flocked to them in heath care as yet. So what they’re thinking about there I’m curious to know.

I’m also wondering what’s happening in the 90 minute all hands meetings Marissa has every day with the Google health team!

But of course so long as Google owns search and search owns the Internet, what they decide to do in health care is about as important as anything—hence our continued fascination.

CODA: By the way, Richard Martin, the scribe at Information Week is probably causing the Redmond PR folks to be pulling their hair out. He says, Microsoft has not publicly disclosed its plans for a health-related product, but is said to be working on an offering that combines software with an online component. Given the attention lavished on a lowly blogger to make sure I knew all about the health piece of Live Search and Healthvault launch earlier this month, I’m sure someone at Information Week should have caught wind of Microsoft’s activity!

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11 replies »

  1. Google and Microsoft is reinvinting the wheel. I have been using E*HealthLine system for over three years. E*HealthLine’s comprehensive Intergraded Digital Consumer Health Records, overcoming interoperability and connectivity between the Provider and Payors issues. E*HealthLine’s extensive suite of Healthcare Applications are instantly assessable to the consumers and clinicians, all of whom are granted “secure access” to pertinent medical information, via the internet. Our patient are extremly Happy and our patient sastfication is about 1000 time improvemnt

  2. Just wanted to mention our patient activist and physician oriented Health Search startup “CureHunter“. One of our main design goals is to bring patients and physicians closer to the research so they can make the most educated decisions possible and truly begin to practice Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) in real-time.
    …without giving anyone your medical records!
    Please check it out if you get the chance.

  3. Tcoyote: The infant Google provides LEADERSHIP, innovation and its brand is so trusted and valued by CONSUMERS as THEIR navigation utility/tool they need do no advertising or marketing at all. Extending that brand trust to begin addressing the healthcare “hairball” is necessary for CONSUMERS to self-educate/manage and make informed healthcare decisions. If our Government won’t do it, someone must. Today, no other media or healthcare company or brand has the consumer trust Google enjoys – for good reason. Please allow there are some who have an alternate perspective and…at approaching $800 a share, even the most cynical investment bankers and, certainly, the businesses Google is already disrupting/making more efficient/cheaper for CONSUMERS…take Google and its value to CONSUMERS…very seriously…as do I. Google is on the move and healthcare will benefit as a result of their taking a LEADERSHIP and education role, via every health info search. I admire and respect Google for taking up this challenge and not looking backward…which serves nobody.

  4. Google and all others jumping on to the PHR bandwagon will need a lot of patience and resources. The move towards patient controlled records will take time and needs to begin at the consumer/patient – provider/doctor relationship and build from there.
    Jeez, there are so many many issues here from the plethora of PHR solutions, many with questionable business models, motives and privacy policies, to a lack of PCP adoption of all things digital, eg EMR adoption is still below 20% among small practices where 80% of care occurs, to simply a need to educate the consumer. And don’t even get me started on HIPAA privacy rules and those at the state level, which are literally all over the map.
    Despite some of my negative comments over on my blog (www.hitanalyst.wordpress.com) regarding HealthVault and Google seemingly dragging their feet, I am encouraged that these two major forces are getting into the market as this may really get things moving. Of ccourse, there is also Dossia and Indivo, that will be important to watch as well from and adoption and use perspective.
    As to docanon’s comment on any studies of the efficacy of PHRs and contribution to say quality of care or outcomes, no, in all my research to date I have yet to find anything meaningful. Was at this year’s AHRQ conference and heard nothing on the topic.

  5. Doconan’s comments probably reflect the feelings of lots of doctors and many patients. But most doctors dont have an EMR and even if they did there’s no central place to hold all provider and ancillary-service based medical data.
    So people have shoeboxes fill of medical paper (my knee MRis live under my bed) or no data at all, and that problem will be fixed by someone sometime whatever docannon thinks about the motives of his/her patients. I hope that at least some of those patients are motivated by managing their own health better.
    Like it or lump it, the estimate at Health2.0 was that Google has some 15 million medical term searches a DAY. WebMD has at max 40 million visits a MONTH. The data alone suggests that Google needs to convert just a very few of its searchers to its new Health product to make it a very big player immediately.
    That’s why what Google does is so important.

  6. Does anybody know if the impact of PHRs on patient health has ever been studied? I have a couple of doubts about their effectiveness as currently conceived.
    I’m a PCP, and giving patients control over their health information would completely undermine my trust in the accuracy and completeness of their health record. What kind of patient has the time or energy to maintain a health record? A very select population. Generally speaking, folks with an agenda…whether it be “chronic lyme,” Munchausen’s, or opiate addiction. The paper equivalent of what seems to be promised by the electronic PHR happens not too infrequently in my clinic when a patient shows up with a thick stack of records topped with a pretty unhelpful note they’ve composed (usually with liberal CAPITALIZATION and vague accusations directed towards their multitude of past providers).
    The overall impressions these paper PHRs deliver are:
    1. Patient is a heavy user of health care services, and their care is suspiciously fragmented.
    2. Too often: patient has an axis II psychiatric disorder. If it isn’t apparent now, it probably soon will be.
    3. Patient is probably litigious (and if I ask, generally has an outstanding lawsuit or two against an employer or a landlord)
    4. I am going to spend a lot of uncompensated time going through this record, filling out disability claims, and tracking down what actually happened by calling his or her previous docs. This is how I learn at least some of the information the patient has withheld from me.
    Will going electronic solve the trust problem? I’d be interested to hear how, especially if there’s a “delete” option patients can use to cover up parts of their medical histories. Third-party electronic records are great, and I trust them because patients cannot control their contents.

  7. not to be too dense…but consumers don’t (directly) pay for healthcare, and therefore there is no value to them to find it more or less efficient but loading up a bunch of personal data that they don’t have (it’s in files in doctors’ offices, hospitals, insurance company files, etc.) is completely whacked. let’s see…my mom is going to figure all this out so MS or Google can have a portal/vortal? where healthcare meets consumer is typically the primary care doc, and that’s where the value is in creating digital improvements – and 80% of these guys/gals aren’t buying it (yet).

  8. I don’t yet understand the emphasis people, including Google, are placing on central STORAGE of personal health info (as MM was reported to have said, in this Washington Post piece). Is there a concern that the internet will cease to exist? Isn’t the dynamic coordination of dispersed information the kind of challenge that gets tech people excited about mashups and other AJAX-propelled internet applications?
    It makes sense for INDIVIDUALS to decide to centralize or not, and to have the option to do so, but the option to keep data dispersed, assigning PERMISSIONS to various sources to connect & share data, will be valuable at the consumer level, even if seldom exercised.
    A variation of the option could include the power to DELETE info from any centralized repository, and obtain some explicit confirmation that that information has been expunged.
    I’m frankly surprised that GOOG regularly appears tone-deaf to consumer concerns on these matters.

  9. That was a load of codswallop, renata! It is not 1998, and some linkage to what consumers actually need that they cannot get already and are willing to pay for is the missing ingredient in Google’s “plans”. It isn’t enough just to be GOOGLE (or Revolution Health or Microsoft). . .

  10. Marissa, Missy, Eric and the Google Health team will deploy a product that will be embraced because they took the TIME to ensure ease of use — and Google’s products are trusted by consumers because Google knows the value of earning that trust/confidence each and every day. They also know the consequences to their entire business model if they violate that trust/confidence. The economics will follow consumers in the matter of the Google Health product. That is a distinction that is turning entire industries on their heads. Google owns SEARCH. Consumers increasingly engage healthcare via SEARCH. Healthcare is on deck — for the Google-affect! We don’t yet KNOW what the healthcare business model(s) will look like when CONSUMERS are in the drivers’ seat, making real choices and influencing decisions at every step along the way. Advertising/promotional/sales/branding/marketing economics for every conceivable business industry along the healthcare spectrum — from Medicare to pharmas to insurance cos., are already spending billions to gain the attention of the very same consumers — and it will be interesting to see how the innovative Googlers find ways to empower and relieve consumers constant additional expense by eliminating (to begin with) the 15% agency middlemen representing all healthcare business constuiencies — and underwrites those services, products and goods consumers with that 15% plus fees??? Consumers are not stupid. If Google helps lower THEIR costs and provides relevance/meaning/quality services underwritten by the efficiencies brought to bear by Google serving clients who wish to pitch them directly — and they maintain the TRUST consumers have already vested in Google — the sky’s the limit! Wireless/cell phones next!!!
    GoogleHealth “trusted tester”

  11. there’s no value (yet) to putting info into a personal health record online or otherwise…the people with economic benefit/cost from this are not in the loop (insurers, medicare, etc.). if there were a reason to put info online, it’s not here yet.
    this woman from google … sorry … wouldn’t want my future riding on her …