Google Health sharing-simple but potentially important

Today late afternoon PST Google flipped the switch on an important change/add to Google Health. Recently they’ve been adding more and more little features, such as printing & graphing, and in the last month getting CVS retail pharmacies on the network (to join Walgreens), and sucking up device data. But this new one may be the most interesting, as Google Health has added the ability for users to invite others to see their records.

Anyone who’s used Google Docs (and that includes all of us working at Health 2.0) immediately gets addicted to sharing those spreadsheets and text documents with a wider team. It’s so easy, you just invite them to it, and then one day you wake up and you’re sharing hundreds of documents with everyone you work with and cannot imagine how you did it before.

For Google Health (and the details got a mention on the main Google blog today) they’re starting sharing relatively slow. Up until now they haven’t had any ability for one person to see into another record unless they know that user name and password. (Do you trust your husband/wife that much? )

Now you can invite anyone to a “read only” view. It’s all or nothing sharing, so they get to see for now everything in your record. Presumably there’ll be changes to that in a later version.

But for now it looks and works just like sharing in Google Docs, in that you can invite anyone. There are some slight differences, in that the receiver cannot edit and cannot re-share, and they have to accept the link from the email (it doesn’t just show up automatically in their Google Health account)

So now people will be able to share Google Health with their families and caregivers. But obviously the big next phase is people offering to share these records with their physicians. We’ll see but this may well be the killer app the PHR has been looking for—after all now a doctor just needs one Google sign-in which they almost certainly have anyway, and they can see all the Google Health PHRs of the patients who start sharing their records with them. And they will. This has the potential to be really disruptive.

3 Responses to Google Health sharing-simple but potentially important

  1. It seems that each new improvement is a double-edged sword that can cut both ways. I can see many disturbing issues related to privacy and controlling how much someone is allowed to see of a person's records. But at the same time, there are huge benefits. It seems that there is always a period of adjustment to new ways of doing things.

  2. Oaxaca says:

    The organisational and ownership model of Google health will prevent it from scaling.
    We propose that it is economically viable for the UK's National Health Service (NHS) to become a self-funding entity by selling patient healthcare data to a wide variety of industry actors. We also propose that an individual’s healthcare data record itself can eventually becoming an earning asset that can be passed on to future generations. A model for self-funding health care?

  3. Jeff Brandt says:

    Google Health is very limited in there support of a subset of the CCR. Health Vault support the CCD, CCR and many other ODL type data. Our company has developed a PHR for the iPhone and Google Phone and are trying to determine weather to connect to Google Health or Health Vault.
    I envision Health Banking as a large cost saving for the Health Industry and a benefit to outcomes. The PHR with commercial storage may be the first step.
    Jeff Brandt for the iPhone for the Google Phone

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