Health Care IT Still Needs Critical Care
Despite focusing on compliance and security issues, progress to date has been somewhat limited.
I first wrote about electronic health records nearly three years ago when Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault were just gearing up to help move toward digital medical records for every single person in the country. We've come a long way since then. Scores of companies offer health records solutions now instead of just a handful. Health care providers have started to receive federal incentive money for implementing certified electronic records systems.
Despite all that, Google announced last week it will phase out Google Health services. The program is designed to allow individuals to maintain a composite health record, including information from all of their different providers, in one place so that it is easily accessible from the Web should they need it. According to TechNewsWorld, the program will end in 2012, but customers will have another year to download and transfer their records elsewhere. Everything will "disappear" as of Jan. 1, 2013.
Google Health Senior Product Manager Aaron Brown explained in a blog post that the product was not as broadly adopted as the company would have liked. He said:
There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven't found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption.
To make the move easy for customers who have used the Google service, he said developers will be adding a feature that will allow users to move their data directly from Google Health into another service compatible with the government's Direct project standards.