Google Health is live. It’s US only but I was able to get in. Terms and Conditions. I’ve written before about Microsoft’s HealthVault and I stand by it. These services are good and if the data they collect can get us better medical advice, better and cheaper consultants and screw over Irish medical consultants. WOO. But I also want a cut on the money that Google makes from this data. As I said before about Microsoft but it equally applies here:
If we can move our money from a money bank, why not move our health data to a health bank? Iâ€™m sure HealthVault and the clones will add more features over time to negotiate discounts on tablets and meds for you and everything else that uses the service, naturally with Microsoft getting a cut too. And just like a bank, we should be able to make money from what we store in it. Microsoft will make money from the data from charging access (by charging for the applications that access it) and also from those discounts for what you get, as well as ads when you do medical searches via the site. Why should Microsoft or whoever make all the money? Itâ€™s our data they are profiting from, share the wealth guys.
Looking at the service itself:
You can already import your medical records from a host of places, mostly clinics right now but still. Impressive.
Here are some screenshots.
But do you trust Google? Now think about all that data and the fact that they WILL in the future integrate with the 23AndMe DNA analysis company they’re investors in, you comfortable with all your email, chat conversations, word documents, medical records and DNA all controlled by one group? There are many secret laws in the U.S. since before and after 9/11, how do you know Google isn’t complying with one?
There’s also the dervied data that Google has you on you. I wrote about this before too.
More from Google Blogoscoped:
Google continues to ask for your agreement for Google to pass on information about you to entities and individuals you define. As examples, Google lists sensitive information related to e.g. sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, alcohol abuse, genetic diseases and more.
Google in the Q&A later on explains that they may share aggregate, anonymous information from their Google Health records (a statistic like â€œ10% of users with diabetes got a flu shotâ€).
Hmmm. I’ll wait another while just yet thanks.
Can a google employee working in the google health department access the records? Who monitors them? And the hypochondriac in me knows that if I ever started looking at this… I’d never stop. But the benefits of it could be immense.
From what I understand Google have fantastic systems in place to prevent those with access to certain sets of data from accessing others. So the GMail peeps can’t access Health can’t access whatever. Certainly better than the Dept of Social Welfare have anyway but the worry is that a higher up employee who is ordered to do it, can do it.
And the higher up they are, the more information they have.
What’s to stop someone very high up in Google from passing information to someone very high up in government, or very high up in industry?
Protections in the US are meaningless after the hysteria of 9-11, and the Patriot Act seems to be all-powerful.
Sorry. Google will have to wait until they get the stats on my guts.
Data leak. Waiting. To. Happen.
As much as I love google, I don’t think I will be adding my medical records online. As 73man says, just imagine a data leak, I’m sure sites like this would be nirvana for hackers and people who are into stealing identities.
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