Google previews public online health service

Google Health goes live
Google Health goes live

Google last week unveiled its new online health service at a meeting of the Healthcare Management and Information Systems Society (HIMSS) in Orlando.

Although the service has not yet been made available to the public, a pilot version is being tested by a select group of Cleveland Clinic patients. Functions of the service dubbed Google Health are expected to include storage of medical records, health tools and a find a doctor function.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt compared Google Health to Google's news service, which, to date, does not carry advertising.

“Our model is that the owner of the data has control over who can see it,” Schmidt said at the HIMMS conference. “And trust, for Google, is the most important currency on the Internet.”

Google may not need to place its ads directly on the its health landing page as long as it provides a search box that can lead users to other pages with advertising.

Google's VP, search & user products, Marissa Mayer, wrote in a recent blog post: “We're proud of the product that we've designed and are continuing to build…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.”

The full contents of Mayer's blog post are available here.