So Google Health is now out into a public beta based on several blogs I read including the Official Google Blog in the post called A peek into our search factory. Here's the Google announcement:
In terms of new products, we made Google Health publicly available. It offers users a safe and secure way to collect, store, and manage their medical records and health information online. How many of us have touched, or even seen, our medical records? In this day and age of information, isn't it crazy that you don't have a copy of your medical records under your control? You could use those records to develop a better understanding of your health and ultimately get better care. It's your data about your own health; why shouldn't you own and control it?
There are other great aspects about Google Health which you can read for yourself. Me? I'm sticking to keeping this information off the internet.
However, this is one Google product I won't test and won't be using. Some things are better left on your desktop or your home and this is one of them. I believe that doctors and pharmacists went to different types of schools, spent more time in school, and then onto residencies that they can actually do a better job of filtering the information for me. Even today, save for paid links it is extremely hard to navigate through a Google search results page to find the right information.
I don't want my information stored on the internet no matter how big and powerful Google gets that they can protect the information. My medical history thankfully does not change that often that I need constant updates and I can figure out on my own when I need a refill (if you take daily pills you can see when you are running low). The selling features from Google include the following (my comments to the right):
- Organize your health information all in one place (can't I do that now offline or on my desktop? Does it change so often that I need instant access to it)
- Gather your medical records from doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies (don't you ask for it now if you can? If you do, do you need it instantly on an on demand basis)
- Keep your doctors up to date about your health (I'm sure the doctor's can't wait for this especially if they can figure out a way to charge for it)
- Be more informed about important health issues (served up based on your information?)
I really believe Google has the best intentions with this and will protect your privacy to the best they are able to. Take away my office and store it on the net. Give me Gmail and I'm happy with it. Google reader is great as is the search product itself. These are all trade-offs I'm ready to make for targeted ads, but when it comes to medical records I'll pass. Perhaps as I get older and need constant health updates I'll change my tune, but for now, I'll keep what I'm doing offline.