Title: The demise of Google Health and the future of personal health records

Authors: Fernando Mora

Addresses: MBA Program in Multi-Sector Health Management, School of Arts and Sciences, True Blue Campus, St. George's University, St. George's Grenada, West Indies; Grupo de Bioingeniería y Biofísica Aplicada, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Sartenejas, Caracas 1080A, Venezuela

Abstract: Digital personal health systems or platforms are considered fundamental elements towards making health more predictive, personalised, participatory, ubiquitous and interconnected. Innovations are expected both in terms of technology development and business model concepts, because these systems depart from classical ideas about healthcare delivery to enable new paradigms that foster user/patient participation. This article attempts to review and analyse the reasons why Google Health failed as a technology solution for user/patient healthcare information management. Google Health was unveiled in May 2008 after a process, which included a pilot test by a major USA healthcare provider. Nevertheless, on June 24th of 2011 Google announced the discontinuation of the service, effective in 2012. Some ideas about the general status of digital platforms for personal health records (PHR) are presented and discussed as aspects which affected the low adoption rate of Google Health. Including, the absence of clear demonstrations of better healthcare outcomes of user centred healthcare, the lack of clear clinical workflows and of wellness models based on information originated from stand-alone PHRs.

Keywords: personal health records; Google Health; health information systems; HIS; PHR usability; patient empowerment; personalised digital health platforms; e-healthcare; electronic healthcare; healthcare technology; information management; clinical workflows; wellness models.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2012.052563

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2012 Vol.13 No.5/6, pp.363 - 377

Received: 18 Jan 2012
Accepted: 02 Nov 2012

Published online: 11 Mar 2013 *

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