Even though previous efforts have not panned out, Google continues to investigate personal health records. While the company is not trying to build a stand-alone platform at this time, it is looking into features of personal health records that will appeal to consumers.
Google has had a user feedback program in place for over a year as it works to define features of a personal health record tool or platform. The feedback is looking at how consumers want to view and store their medical information after they pull it from their provider patient portals.
Google’s earlier venture into a personal health record in 2008 – Google Health – fizzled out after a few years because patients at that time weren’t as interested in incorporating that type of tool into their health routines. Over a decade later, consumers are more likely to use digital tools as part of their approach in managing their healthcare. Hospitals are more likely to offer the use of third-party apps to view health data, and more patients are making use of online portals to access their health information.
Even though Google pulled the plug on personal health record efforts until now, it has been working on other healthcare tools, such as online provider appointment scheduling and developing tools to improve interoperability of health images via AI and machine learning. Another effort is Device Connect for Fitbit, which allows Fitbit data to be used for patient monitoring, research and population health projects. The Health Connect app from Google aggregates data from eligible health, wellness and fitness apps into one platform. Google recently announced the linkage of Google Cloud with Epic.