To Your Health — Yeah, right!

by francine Hardaway on August 14, 2007

The Google blog today has the first view of Google Heath screenshots. And yesterday, the NY Times had an article about how both Microsoft AND Google were both getting into providing personal health records. Sure they are. They have plenty of smart software engineers who can solve the technical problems.

But who is going to solve the privacy problems. The ones that scare doctors spitless and present them from even installing EHRs and certainly not sharing information in them with anyone else — especially YOU.

Google’s interface looks simple enough, but the whole thing falls apart when you get to the screen shot that says “if your pharmacy or provider allows securely uploaded information, you can add that to your profile.”

That’s where I always have the problem; I can’t get my own information sent electronically TO ME. I can only get it FAXED to me. And then after I’ve filled out several forms. Not to mention the fact that some of my providers don’t even have electronic ways of delivering information. I can solve that with eFax, but then how do I get it up on my site? I’ve tried places like Passport Health and Revolution Health, and I can never upload my own records as attachments.

I love Google. The interface is their now-classic minimalist one, and they have had great brains thinking it through. But they haven’t solved the transfer of information problem anymore than Revolution Health has. As a consumer, I can’t have a PHR until my physician has an EHR.

Boom. There you have it. Full stop. How will Google get around this? Congressional lobbying? I hope so. That’s what it will take to re-think HIPAA and free the health community to transmit information.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex M at RevolutionHealth August 14, 2007 at 7:54 pm

Revolution Health actually allows you to attach any faxed document to you personal health record, but this service is available only to paying members currently. It is quite easy, I used several times.

francine August 14, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Thanks for clarifying. I should pay!

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