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A lone Eric Schmidt describes Google Health to HIMSS attendees  (Source: DailyTech)

Google Health Screen Shot  (Source: Google)
Google Health not covered under HIPAA

Google offered a glimpse into a new product it has been working on called Google Health at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in Orlando, Florida. Google says Google Health is attempting to solve an urgent need of organizing patient information and making it accessible and useful.

Google Health will allow users to collect, store and manage their own medical information online. With the prolific availability of Internet enabled devices in our daily lives and more and more physicians’ offices and health care systems adopting technology like tablet PCs to make record retrieval easier and faster, Google Health offers an interesting way for patient to provide healthcare professionals access to medical information.

Google says what sets is service apart from the other online personal health records is privacy, security and streamlined support.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt claims the company is working with third-party services to be able to import doctor’s records, prescription history and test results directly into Google Health. If Google can pull that off with enough support form pharmacies, doctor’s offices and laboratories waiting for paper results of tests and records will be a thing of the past.

Privacy is certainly the biggest concern for people who put their medical information online. Google told InformationWeek that it wasn’t covered by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

HIPAA sets some stiff penalties for medical institutions that misuse or mishandle medical information of patients. Google doesn’t have to abide by HIPAA standards with its Google Health service, but Schmidt emphasizes many of the things it is doing for privacy and security of health information stored in its Google Health program are better than what HIPAA requires covered entities to abide by.

Google hasn’t offered an official launch date for the service and merely says that it looks forward to making Google Health available to users in the coming months.

DailyTech's Noreen Butte asked Schmidt if the company has any plans to monetize on the new program. "Not in the short term," Schmidt replied.

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Sounds good but is it really bad?
By Mitch101 on 2/29/2008 5:33:09 PM , Rating: 3
This sounds like a good neat idea and if it could be used for the greater good like it intends to do then its awesome. However I see this as a tool the insurance companies will get their hands into and hurt people for their own profit potential.

The problem is some of the health Insurance agencies are scum and are turning to looking into every nook and crannies in peoples lives so they can deny medical coverage, surgeries, and proper medication. If they get the slightest inclination you experienced any symptom of having the issue possibly before you became insured by them or it may be related to something prior in your life they are looking to deny you proper medical attention. Its a business and profits are what they are after. They don't really care about any of us when it comes to our health.

I'm not advocating Michael Moore paranoia but recently a buddy of mine was diagnosed with having Diabetes and is having a hell of a time with medical coverage. I wouldn't be surprised if they tie this to his kids someday and deny them since you generally have to give social information to the insurance companies on your kids. The kids when nearing his age will get some sort of canceled insurance coverage because they know at age 40 their father was diagnosed with diabetes and they assume the kids will develop this too around his age.

I almost have to believe if were going to be a nation that really cares about the greater good of humanity we need to find a way to ensure health insurance companies are doing what is morally right not what is financially good for the bottom line.

Maybe we need to have a government run health care system like other countries.

We have people from Canada and the EU here really how is life in a government run health care system? Does it work?

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