Google Health lets patients centralize their history

April 1, 2010

The medical records service, Google Health, lets users enter information such as medications taken, procedures undergone and lab tests.

You had a mole removed last year. Maybe that was the year before? Then your primary-care physician put you on a medication to lower cholesterol. Or was that a blood-thinner? And which antibiotic are you allergic to?

Such centralization of information is supposed to eliminate redundant paperwork and testing, keep track of diagnoses and medication, and reduce costs. It also allows the creation of one place patients can keep their medical records from all sources-physicians, clinics, hospitals, labs, and radiology.

Google Health can access only medical information volunteered by individuals. It does not retrieve any records unless patients explicitly direct it to. The service is free and, unlike its Microsoft counterpart, HealthVault, it does not run advertising. The service also enables patients to search for physicians and hospitals, find information on specific diseases, and learn how medications interact.