Parks Associates Blog

Friday, May 23, 2008

Google Will See You Now

After a trial run with Cleveland Clinic, Google Health is now open for business. Designed as a free full personal health record (PHR), Google Health allows individuals to create their own profile complete with records of conditions, medications, allergies, procedures, test results, and immunizations. Intended to be a one-stop shop for people to store all medical information from the numerous institutes they visit, control is given to the individual. (It is important to note, however, that Google Health is not covered under the HIPAA privacy code.)

Partners with Google provide services to Google Health users that compliment their PHR experience. For a fee and with permission to access your account, several companies will collect an individual’s medical records from various sources and convert them to electronic format where they can be stored on disk or uploaded to the PHR. Added to these vendors are assorted other partners who create easy access for communicating with physicians, keep tabs on medicines or diabetes monitoring, provide health calculators, and search the web for information related to the individual’s personal needs.

Google Health has also partnered with several pharmacies and clinics such as Walgreens and the CVS subsidiary Minute Clinic to allow medical records to be imported into the PHR. Once in the system, the drug interactions tab is marked with a red dot for immediate attention if it detects use of medicines that have negative interactions with each other or are one to which the person is allergic. A yellow triangle flags marks concerns that should be discussed soon with the doctor.

Need a doctor? Click the link to search providers by specialty. View doctors in the area, see others’ reviews of the doctor, and map a way to the office. Need information about a specific condition? Use the search tool to find what you need. With no claims to file and no copays, Google is free to both individuals and the healthcare providers that partner with Google.

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