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Google Health In Depth

written by: MandaSpring • edited by: Anurag Ghosh • updated: 12/15/2008

What is Google Health? Take a closer look at this personal health record system system.

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    Google is, as most of us already know, an internet giant. It is one of the largest and most widely used search systems on the internet today. But, what is Google Health? Today we will take a closer look into this system and find out the benefits to using this tool.

    Overview

    Google Health is a free service to the public. This medical information system is a PHR (Personal Health Record) tool. Patients can volunteer their personal medical information after they sign up and include any data they wish. The set up of the site itself is fairly simple and easy to use for patients.

    How Can Google Health Help

    So what does this mean for Google users? Well, we go to separate doctors for things such as a chiropractor for maintenance, optometrists for eye care, primary care physician for general needs, and so on. With Google Health all of those various records can become one incorporated file ready for you to add to or manage in what ever way you might need.

    This system basically allows you, the user, complete control over all individual medical data. A person’s entire medical history, allergies, lad test results etc. are ready and available from any location around the world.

    Privacy Matters

    Many people tend to think immediately about privacy issues when they learn about the information that is voluntarily stored in the Google Health system. Although the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) doesn’t apply to Google Health most individuals believe it to be just as safe if not safer than the current systems. Basically, technology is more secure than paper records except in special circumstances such as hackers, etc. So, both sides of the privacy and security fence have their own qualms about how safe personal information actually is. Google will have to do some serious security upgrades to make sure the data is secured which they seem more than prepared to do.

    Conclusion

    Google Health has a goal to help medical facilities and patients share the necessary information so that more productive health care can be achieved. The more information a doctor has about every other area of a patient’s overall health, the better the treatments will be. Sometimes things can be forgotten and over looked which can often lead to mistakes or accidental mishaps. This is one way that Google is trying to keep consumers healthier and happier.