Google’s on IT

Obama mentioned health IT as an urgent investment during his big speech today. He said we will have computerized medical records within 5 years, and the move will reduce errors and save lives.

Look who’s already working on the infrastructure:

I just stumbled on the BETA from my Gmail. Here’s another screengrab:

Here’s a WSJ write on Google Health and its competitor – Microsoft Health Vault:

Google Health ( and Microsoft Health Vault ( The rival sites offer a number of health-management tools. Google’s site, for instance, allows users to refill prescriptions online at participating local drugstores and to seek a second opinion on a medical question via an online consulting service from partner The Cleveland Clinic (for a $565 fee). Microsoft’s features include programs that can link to home devices such as a blood-glucose meter or a heart-rate monitor to track readings and provide them to physicians.

But the sites’ main benefit is that it allows individuals and families to create their own free online medical records, and to share these with physicians if they choose. Despite concerns about security and privacy, there is something pretty appealing about having your medical history, medication lists and lab reports on a secure Web site that you can get to in an emergency, particularly since most doctors still haven’t switched to electronic medical records in their offices. But for backup, I still advise my mother’s strategy: keeping paper copies of everything.

And finally, more good advice from the same write:

While many health Web sites have enriched their offerings, privacy issues remain a concern as users are able to enter personal information and receive customized alerts and health messages. Consumers should read the privacy policies of the sites carefully and be sure to opt out of any features that share personal information with marketers if they don’t want to be contacted.

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