After a long time in discussion, Google publicly launched Monday its free online personal health records. The operation first made headlines a couple of months ago when Google announced it at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). I was invited to the Googleplex, but due to a prior engagement, had to miss the chance to get it from the horses mouth.
As the WSJ Health Blog points out, only a minority of medical practices keep records electronically. But the good news is that Google has been thinking not just about EMRs, but also about the rest of data that’s most useful (Rx and lab results) and has some big players, such as Medco, Walgreens and Quest on its list of initial partners.
Google will also have to spend more time now dealing with the privacy zealots and not just leaving it all to, well, me!
Although I wasn’t there, a much more famous health IT person was. John Halamka is the Chief Information Officer at one of Google’s initial partners, Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (and of course colleague of THCB regular Paul Levy, and more recently himself a blogger). BIDMC has offered its patients a PHR for more than 7 years, and now that data can be brought into Google Health (and I assume vice versa). John’s post about the launch is below — Matthew Holt
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is now live with Google Health. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Google Health Advisory Council and have not accepted any payments from Google for my advisory role. BIDMC is also working with Microsoft Health Vault and Dossia.
I’m now at Google Headquarters in Mountain View with the Google Health team – Roni, Missy, Maneesh, Jerry etc. and several dozen reporters.
Here’s the functionality we’ve launched.
When a user logs into Google Health and clicks on Import Health Records – the following choices appear:
- Cleveland Clinic
- Minute Clinic/CVS
- Quest Laboratories
They are all early integrators with Google Health.
At BIDMC, we have enhanced our hospital and ambulatory systems such that a patient, with their consent and control, can upload their BIDMC records to Google Health in a few keystrokes. There is no need to manually enter this health data into Google’s personal health record, unlike earlier PHRs from Dr. Koop, HealthCentral and Revolution Health. Once these records are uploaded, patients receive drug/drug interaction advice, drug monographs, and disease reference materials. They can subscribe to additional third party applications, share their records if desired, and receive additional health knowledge services.