Thursday, February 28, 2008
It's been a busy week for the Google Health team. Last week we announced our partnership and pilot with the Cleveland Clinic. This week, the team has been at the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference in Orlando, Florida, where Eric Schmidt gave the closing keynote. Eric's keynote marks the first time we've talked publicly about the product we've been designing and building. His talk also offered a deeper view into our overall health strategy. (Watch the video.)
Google Health aims to solve an urgent need that dovetails with our overall mission of organizing patient information and making it accessible and useful. Through our health offering, our users will be empowered to collect, store, and manage their own medical records online.
For the healthcare industry, online personal health records (PHRs) aren't a new idea and, in some cases, online PHRs already exist for patients. Here's what we think sets Google Health apart:
- Platform - One of the most exciting and innovative parts of Google Health is our platform strategy. We're assembling a directory of third-party services that interoperate with Google Health. Right now, this means you'll be able to automatically import information such as your doctors' records, your prescription history, and your test results into Google Health in order to easily access and control your data. Later, this platform strategy will mean that you will be able to interact with services and tools easily, and will be able to do things like schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, and start using new wellness tools.
- Portability - Our Internet presence ultimately means that through Google Health, you will be able to have access and control over your health data from anywhere. Through the Cleveland Clinic pilot, we have already found great use-cases in which, for example, people spend 6 months of the year in Ohio, and 6 months of the year in Florida or Arizona, and will now be able to move their health data between their various health providers seamlessly and with total control. Previously, this would have required carrying paper records back and forth. With Google Health, the user can simply import the data from each medical facility and then choose to share it with the other facilities. It's advances in data portability like this that we think can really make a difference in the quality of healthcare. The clearer and more comprehensive the information regarding your health becomes, the better your care will be.
- User focus - We aren't doctors or healthcare experts, but one thing Google can create is a clean, easy-to-use user experience that makes managing your health information straightforward and easy. We're still iterating and testing our user interface, but here is what the welcome screen looks like:
Here is a screenshot deeper in the application:
- We're proud of the product that we've designed and are continuing to build, but recognize that we are just at the initial stages of our "launch early and iterate" strategy. We look forward to the feedback we will receive from our Cleveland Clinic pilot, from all of you, and from the initial users of our service when we make it publicly available in the coming months.