Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Failure of Google Health and What it Means for the Future

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According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 80% of the American adults who use the Internet report that they regularly go online for access to health information. But so far, the Internet has not helped drive the adoption of health records created and maintained by consumers. 

That's why Google announced last week that it is shutting down Google Health, a personal health record service that allows individuals to centrally store and manage their health information online.

Why hasn’t the Internet empowered consumers to manage their personal health information the same way it has better informed them about medical conditions? 

There are three reasons. But the underlying cause is that there is no such thing as a consumer in the American health care system today. A consumer is someone who uses personal dollars to buy goods and services for his or her own use. In our health care system, the users of medical services are, of course, individuals. But users don’t pay the largest share of costs for these services. Employers, the government, and health insurance companies do. So while people may be highly concerned about quality medical care, most are not motivated to manage costs.
 With that fundamental understanding, it’s easy to see why Google Health failed.

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For the full article from FastCompany, click here
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