Saturday, February 23, 2008

Google Experiments in the Healthcare Field

Finally, we have the details of Google's experiment in the healthcare arena. Google announced that it is working with the Cleveland Clinic on this initial experiment--which seeks to put patients in charge of their own health information. Cleveland Clinic announced that:
Today, more than 100,000 Cleveland Clinic patients benefit from Cleveland Clinic’s electronic personal health record (PHR) system called eCleveland Clinic MyChart®. The pilot, an invitation-only opportunity offered to a group of Cleveland Clinic PHR users, plans to enroll between 1,500 and 10,000 patients.

It will test secure exchange of patient medical record data such as prescriptions, conditions and allergies between their Cleveland Clinic PHR to a secure Google profile in a live clinical delivery setting. The ultimate goal of this patient-centered and controlled model is to give patients the ability to interact with multiple physicians, healthcare service providers and pharmacies.

The CIO of Cleveland Clinic remarked that: "Patients are more proactively managing their own healthcare information.. At Cleveland Clinic, we strive to participate in and help to advance the national dialogue around a more efficient and effective national healthcare system....Utilizing Cleveland Clinic’s PHR expertise, this collaboration is intended to help Google test features and services that will ultimately allow all Americans (as patients) to direct the exchange of their medical information between their various providers without compromising their privacy."

From Google's point of view: According to Marissa Mayer, Vice President, Search Products and User Experience:
We believe patients should be able to easily access and manage their own health information.. We chose Cleveland Clinic as one of the first partners to pilot our new health offering because as a provider, they already empower their patients by giving them online tools that help them manage their medical records online and coordinate care with their doctors.
Microsoft has earlier launched its Healthvault with its network of partners.

Now, here is another area of head-to-head competition between Microsoft and Google with little information available now about how the two companies plan to monetize theses initiatives or whether their approcahes will be different.

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