[Sigmed-l] Google Health Prototype screen shots

Leonard D'Avolio ldavolio at gmail.com
Mon Aug 20 12:21:29 EDT 2007

I'm sure there's the standard legal sign-off prior to participation.  Sort
of like the 10 documents you sign when visiting your doctor, dentist,
physical therapist, dog trainer, stating that your medical data can be used
for secondary purposes.  It will get interesting when people use the service
to store and track the health information of loved ones as is often the
case.  As with all things Google these days, the fear of too much
information controlled by one private company is warranted.  This is
especially true with what is essentially some of the most sensitive and
potentially damaging  personal information available.  It doesn't take much
creativity to imagine the worth of this data to insurers or employers and
the harm that could come of it.

That said, it's difficult to argue that the ability to more effectively
store one's health information, share it with providers, search for related
information, discuss\share with others in similar situations, etc. isn't
sorely needed.  If we want to be able to quickly access and share our health
information from anywhere then it seems unavoidable that some for-profit
company will facilitate it.  But is this a step down from our current
system?  Today our information is stored by several companies and routinely
sold for profit.  Legally we own this information, but it's like putting
your money in a bank with mountain-top ATMs. At least with Google's proposed
service we'll have say in what we do or do not share, letting individuals
weigh risk vs. reward.  I may be just as guilty as said Google rep in not
knowing the alternatives, but I don't expect the government to provide an
effective service any time soon.  And so, if we decide such a service is
worth our while, we're left relying on private companies to fill the void.
If it comes down to Google or some medicalrecordsonline.com, at least Google
is financially solvent and therefore less likely host a medical record fire
sale when the banks come calling.  Or have I finally just ordered a tall
shot of the kool aid?

I hope everyone's having a great day,

On 8/20/07, Catherine Arnott Smith <casmith24 at wisc.edu> wrote:
> Leonard D'Avolio wrote:
> >
> > If anyone is interested, some early screen shots from Google Health
> > have made it to the web. Gives you a pretty good idea of what's planned.
> >
> > http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-08-14-n43.html
> >
> >
> I want to know how they're getting over the HIPAA issues. That's what
> *I* want to know.
> A Google guy was a keynote speaker at spring AMIA this year (in fact,
> Google was one of the sponsors -- hmmm), and he wasn't all that popular,
> mostly because he didn't seem aware of what had already been done.
> --
> Catherine Arnott Smith, PhD
> Assistant Professor
> School of Library and Information Studies
> Room 4263 Helen C. White Hall
> 600 N. Park Street, Madison, WI 53706
> Phone: (608) 890-1334
> Fax: (608) 263-4849
> ***
> The machine does not isolate us from the
> great problems of nature but plunges us
> more deeply into them.
> --Antoine de Saint-Exupery
> ***
> Form is never more than
> the extension of content.
> --Robert Creely [quoted in C. Olson,
> "Projective Verse", 1950.]

Leonard D'Avolio
Ph.D. Candidate
NLM Medical Informatics Fellow
Dept. of Information Studies
Dept. of Medical Informatics
University of California, Los Angeles
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