Google Health going out with a whimper

Three years of public availability without Google Health catching fire is enough for the search engine giant. It announced late last month the shuttering of the service at year's end.

Google Health, a personal health records service, "didn't catch on the way we had hoped," according to a blog announcement. "While [it] didn't scale as we had hoped, we believe [it] did highlight the importance of access to information in areas where it's traditionally been difficult."

An MIT Technology Review article describes the shutdown as "an extension of U.S. [healthcare] providers' failure to share data across institutions." It also noted the hundreds of healthcare institutions using different electronic systems to record and store data and the many doctors who still don't use electronic records. The corporation "would have had to solve this health IT mess" for Google Health to succeed.

"It will be at least five years before data flows smoothly enough to make something like Google Health worthwhile," according to Isaac Kohane, director for informatics at Children's Hospital in Boston, in the story.

The article says also that Microsoft announced that Google Health users would be able to transfer data to HealthVault, the software giant's personal health records service. The two companies are reportedly working out the details.

- see the Google blog announcement
- here's the Technology Review story
- here's more

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