Google Health: 2008 to 2012. R.I.P.

Google is shutting down Google Health. The first question is why and what went wrong? Google is going to retire Google Health because it didn't catch on.  So where do we go from here if Google couldn't pull this off?

Google Health is shutting down January 1, 2012.  You can download your data through January 1, 2013.  Google Health was based on the idea that with more and better information, people can make smarter choices in regard to managing personal health and wellness. While Google Health didn't catch on, Google believes as we did that they did highlight the importance of access to information in areas where it’s traditionally been difficult.

Google Health's Purpose
The objective of Google health was to create a service that would give people access to their personal health and wellness information. Google wanted to translate their successful consumer-centered approach from other domains to healthcare and have a real impact on the day-to-day health experiences of millions of our users.

Now, with a few years of experience, they observed that Google Health was not having the broad impact they hoped it would. There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But Google could not find a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people.

Here are answers to questions you may have

Where Does This Leave Us?
Most agree that it is helpful to be able to access all your health information in one area and to be able to share all or parts of it on a confidential and selective basis.  Its also helpful to be able to simply download medications, procedures and images.

I don't have easy, rapid on convenient information to my health information.  What if I want to share a scan with another clinic.  Today, I still have to use the Fred Flinstone method -- the mail, clipboards, phone call requests, etc.  What is concerning in this announcement is that if Google could not pull it off with their virtually limitless resources, who can.

There are many new start-ups offering similar services in many different flavors.  In fact, a new one contacted us yesterday - CladeHealth Tracker.  Last week, we were contacted by another start-up with a similar service.  It makes me wonder how they will make it when Google could not.  And more importantly, who will step up to make this important need a reality.  I like Google, but I think they were short sighted in this regard.

Most are paid services, but allow a person (and/or family) to access medical and personal information.  For example, most adult children don't know who their parents doctors are or which medications they take.  In an emergency, they have to start from ground zero.


About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc.  Visit http://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.

3 comments:

hospice care said...

Too bad, though, as it had been a companion for my medical inquiries.

Arti Nama said...

wow, why should it be turned off google health
useful when ya

The CareGiver Partnership said...

Arti - Google got some counseling which told them to focus "shoemaker stick to your last". In the past year or more, they've discontinued a number of efforts - Google health being one of them.

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