google health 2 Back in August last year, screenshots emerged which gave us an idea of what Google’s Health service was going to look like. At the time we noted that the success of Google Health was largely dependent on doctors using computerized records versus the standard paper option. It appears as though Google has found a place to test out Google Health where computerized records were already in use. It’s at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland Ohio, and according to the Associated Press, the pilot program will be announced today.

Here’s a quick run-down of what we know about the pilot program to be started at the Cleveland Clinic:

  • 1,500-10,000 patients will be involved
  • All have volunteered to be a part of this
  • Their personal health records will be transferred to Google
  • Participants will be able to view their records using a Google Account online

Each health profile will include the following information:

  • Prescriptions
  • Allergies
  • Medical History
  • Family History
  • Test Results
  • and more…

Clearly the Cleveland Clinic was an ideal choice for Google to test their service with because they already keep electronic health records of 120,000 patients and they’re accessible online.  They have their own service in place called MyChart and a quick look at their site explains that patients can view portions of their health record and related information, request and cancel appointments, and even request prescription renewals, all online.

The benefits of Google’s service is that patients can quickly access their information and it helps us get to the point of having a more efficient health care system.  Google Executive Marissa Mayer was quoted as saying, “We believe patients should be able to easily access and manage their own health information.”  Obviously the downside to this is privacy.  People have already said that Google knows too much, and this gives them access to even more information that is particularly sensitive.

There’s no word on when this service will become more widespread, but if it became available to you, would you use it?

Update: Official Google Announcement