Google's health offering to store medical records

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

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 is not immediately scheduled to carry advertising. “Our model is that the owner of the data has control over who can see it,” he said at the conference. “Trust, for Google, is the most important currency on the Internet.”

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

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

Google also announced a partnership with Cleveland Clinic to test a version of Google Health. Between 1,500 and 10,000 patients were invited to participate in the trial. The pilot program was not open to the public.

Mayer said: “We chose Cleveland Clinic as one of the first partners to pilot our new health offering because as a provider, they already empower their patients by giving them online tools that help them manage their medical records online and coordinate care with their doctors.” 

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