Google Enables Profile Sharing for Google Health
Google is allowing users of its Google Health solution to share their medical records and other personal health information with trusted contacts. Google's latest addition to its health care IT portfolio is helping to keep the search engine giant relevant against the likes of Microsoft and health-care-specific Web sites such as WebMD.Google has upgraded its Google Health solution, now allowing users to share their medical records and other personal health information with doctors, family members and other trusted contacts. Google Health is designed to let patients create health profiles, search for doctors and online health services, and automatically update their medical records. It was first introduced by Google CEO Eric Schmidt in February 2008 at a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference.
The company's entrance into the Health Care IT field allows it to compete in yet another arena against Microsoft, which has been exploring ways to enter the health-care market, and sites such as Revolution Health and WebMD.
In January, privacy rights group Consumer Watchdog suggested the company was backing a lobbying effort to OK the sale of electronic medical records, which could then be sold to potential Google Health advertisers. Google hit back in the strongest possible terms. "This claim - based on no evidence whatsoever - is 100 percent false and unfounded. Google does not sell health data," Pablo Chavez, senior policy counsel for Google, wrote in a blog post at the time. "In fact, one of our most steadfast privacy principles is that we don't sell our users' personal data, whether it's stored in Google Health, Gmail or in any of our products. And from a policy perspective, we oppose the sale of medical information in the health care industry."