Thursday, April 7, 2011

Google's Larry Page May Pull Back on Health Portal: WSJ

 

eWEEK.com reports: 

 

As part of a corporate streamlining, Google co-founder and incoming CEO Larry Page may reduce resources for Google's personal health portal, according to The Wall Street Journal."One project expected to get less support is Google Health, which lets people store medical records and other health data on Google's servers, said people familiar with the matter," the WSJ article states.

"Google Health will just become a basic service without much support. Over time without strategic interest from a senior leader, it will basically become a tool for developers," Shah predicted.

That gives me such a warm feeling ! This is an apt announcement as to why MDs do not trust PHRs, and EMRs

"I think it would be a political and PR nightmare for them to kill Google Health. That's why I don't think they  would say we're pulling the plug completely on it," Moore said.

Google Health or PHRs may not affect the market for EHRs (electronic health records), according to Shah. (Wrong !)  This move will set off many warning bells to both doctors and patients alike. If a huge profitable enterprise like Google which has many books of business cannot or will not support digital information in the healthcare space, what makes anyone believe that smaller niche EMR companies can or will survive over the long run.  What happens when the exponential growth rate and profitability decreases or disappears when incentives end?

EMRs demand long term plans and commitments from vendors. Anyone looking at a company which provides a critical infrastructure for a practice should do a thorough financial biopsy of the company and get advice from financial experts.

Weak standards and lack of consumer interest have hurt adoption of PHRs, according to Chilmark.

Schmidt introduced Google Health at the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference on Feb. 28, 2008. Since that time, Google has treated the site as a "sandbox" and invested more in its Android mobile platform, Moore said.Microsoft's health care effort may be more organized overall than Google's, despite struggles by both companies in PHRs, experts say. Microsoft, unlike Google, has a chief health care strategist, Shah noted.

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