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Google gets Health Conscious

After months of speculation Google finally announced the launch of Google Health in the last week of May. Google Health allows you to store and manage all of your health information in one central place.
By Puneet Mehrotra | None
UPDATED ON JUN 11, 2008 01:03 AM IST

After months of speculation Google finally announced the launch of Google Health in the last week of May. Google Health allows you to store and manage all of your health information in one central place. There isn't any cost involved and its registered users can access it completely free. All you need to get started is a Google username and password.

Google gets med savvy
If like thousands of other readers you are wondering what's Google doing in the med space you do have a valid point. Google perspective on your medical record is rather different. It's a "record", a piece of "data" for them. According to Google "Our corporate mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Health information is very fragmented today, and we think we can help. Google believes the Internet can help users get access to their health information and help people make more empowered and informed health decisions. People already come to Google to search for health information, so we are a natural starting point. In addition, we have a lot of experience storing and managing large amounts of data and developing consumer products that offer a positive and simple user experience."

Health Features
Google Health allows you to build your medical records and store them in a single place. You can enter your health conditions, medications, allergies, and lab results into your Google Health profile and you can name the profile anything you want. You can even create multiple profiles for family members or others you care for.

It can let you import medical records from hospitals and pharmacies. Besides other random features likes getting information on medicine resources, accessing doctors and hospitals etc.

Does India really matter to Google?
Google executives always emphasize on India being really important to Google's scheme of things. Sadly Google Health is only open to US consumers. Having said that the service does allow anyone registered with Google to set up an initial profile and alerts. Surely India does have great hospitals like Apollo, Escorts besides the Max Healthcare kind of new hospitals on the block that could have fitted in the Google list of partners. Even though, according to sources, Google chief executive has previously made clear that he plans to offer the service internationally but clearly that hasn't happened.

The Last Word
Google Health is another example of Google's passion for the four letter word, "data". It's great news for consumers as Google goes about organizing world's information and perhaps time for Google executives to put on their thinking caps for creating new revenue models. Google Health won't really have an easy run in place where established companies like webmd.com, righthealth.com, mayohealth.com amongst others have been there for ages. Apparently India doesn't have any of these yet Google didn't find it important to put India on Google Health map. Is Google listening?

(Puneet Mehrotra writes on technology www.thebusinessedition.com)

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