More felicitous timing for us as we near our EconHealth event… It seems that Google is showing the first tangible fruit of its online health endeavors. The company is teaming up with the world famous Cleveland Clinic on a pilot program relating to electronic medical records. The program will be open to 10,000 invited Cleveland Clinic patients, who will be able to connect their medical records to an online health profile hosted by Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Users will then be able to access their records from anywhere, sharing it with other doctors and pharmacies. Release.
While this idea holds a lot of appeal, this is certainly not the first effort along these lines. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has been working on this through its HealthVault program (launched last October), as has Steve Case’s Revolution Health, among others. To some extent, Google is seen as having stumbled out of the gate, having lost its health-related pointman Adam Bosworth last year.
News.com: “The hospital already keeps electronic records for over 100,000 patients in an internal system called MyChart, but when those personal health records, or PHRs, are shared with Google, patients will be able to use them outside of the Cleveland Clinic. Included in the data will be prescription information, medical histories, and details about conditions and allergies.”
WSJ: “While Google hasn’t disclosed plans, analysts and technology industry observers have speculated that the company has big ambitions in health care. They say Google could boost its already large user base and search-related advertising business by becoming a destination for health-related information and services.”