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Google Health now publicly available
Receptional Andy




msg:3653962
 8:33 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

The official Google blog has posted that Google Health is now live:


It offers users a safe and secure way to collect, store, and manage their medical records and health information online...

In this day and age of information, isn't it crazy that you don't have a copy of your medical records under your control?

Google Blog [googleblog.blogspot.com]

Of course, the privacy and security implications of such a service are likely of huge concern to anyone considering registering.

[google.com...]

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 8:33 pm (utc) on May 19, 2008]

[edited by: engine at 10:27 am (utc) on May 20, 2008]
[edit reason] added link [/edit]

 

frontpage




msg:3654066
 11:00 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

More scary Big Brotherism by Google.

8. Does the data I store in Google Health get used for other Google products, like Search?

Yes, we share information between Google products to enable joint fetaures. But no personal or medical information in your Google Health profile is used to customize your Google.com search results or used for advertising. For example, you could not search for your personal medical records on Google.com search.

Google only shares personal information with other companies or individuals outside of Google in the following limited circumstances:

... We provide such information to our subsidiaries, affiliated companies or other trusted businesses or persons for the purpose of processing personal information on our behalf. We require that these parties agree to process such information based on our instructions and in compliance with this Policy and any other appropriate confidentiality and security measures.


Swanny007




msg:3654103
 12:44 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

S**t that's scary! Count me out, BIG TIME! Google knows enough about me :-)

venti




msg:3654177
 4:07 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm with you guys. Kind of scary amount the information they already know, let alone with me entering my health information.

sem4u




msg:3654383
 11:51 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't touch this with a very large bargepole! :o

I can see it now...

Got disease x? You can use these drugs...or your health insurance premiums have gone up...try these providers...

JoeDavola




msg:3654397
 11:58 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

> Got disease x? You can use these drugs...or your health insurance premiums have gone up...try these providers...

Or something like "According to our calculations, you will die in 5...4...3..."

Habtom




msg:3654402
 12:04 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

In this day and age of information, isn't it crazy that you don't have a copy of your medical records under your control?

Really? Did you mean to say "In this day and age of information, isn't it crazy that WE don't have a copy of your medical records under OUR own control? That is the only thing left anyway."

I feel sad for those who might subscribe without knowing the pros and cons of this kind of services.

pageoneresults




msg:3654403
 12:06 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Count me out too. That's just a bit too much information to be giving away to Google. Come on now, you're starting to really concern us with this "Information Takeover" mode you're in. Apparently their goal is to become the world's largest repository of information both public and personal. Man, if anyone ever hacked into their systems...

bloke in a box




msg:3654410
 12:18 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm not normally one for worrying about all the information google has about me but christ, even this one is a bit too much for my liking!

goodroi




msg:3654415
 12:22 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ignoring the privacy issue (which is big enough to be covered in multiple threads) I just tested Google Health. I know the googlers are working hard to make this a helpful tool for the people that want it. They have a bit of work left to do.

When searching for a "family practice" doctor in downtown NYC it returned a pilates exercise class in Midtown NYC. It also returned local doctors and a HIV testing facility. It is disappointing to see one of the top results be wrong. Most websites would be happy if they were 99% accurate. Google has done so well with search I expect them to have 100% perfection.

Then I started to build my profile. Let's plug in 40 year old male. Any conditions? How about menopause and pregnancy - no problem, it's accepted. Call me crazy but I don't think a 40 year old male should ever have menopause or be pregnant, especially at the same time.

Time to enter in my prescription drugs and find out any dangerous interactions. Adderal, Ritalin, Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Vytorin. It didn't seem to mind that I was me taking uppers and downers at the same time. It did red flag that I was taking multiple stimulants and that I was taking multiple downers. Also it told me Vytorin did not mix with my pregnancy condition.

Forgetting about the privacy issues and only looking at the functionality, Google Health is doing some helpful things and could improve in other areas. Hopefully Google Health will at least be a reminder that everyone should take better care of themselves.

Good Luck Google Health Team

zett




msg:3654430
 12:46 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Could someone stop Google, please? Like, now?

Enough is enough.

idolw




msg:3654438
 12:50 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

great. maybe I will finally be able to find a real viagra shop at google ;-)

JamieBrown




msg:3654501
 1:53 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is amazing - I can't think of anything worse than sharing my medical records with a big corporate. Maybe it will be more acceptable in the US though, where people are more familiar with commercial medical services. I'm pleased that the doctors search works in the UK though - often the initial roll out misses us out!

caine




msg:3654520
 2:11 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

8. Does the data I store in Google Health get used for other Google products, like Search?

Yes, we share information between Google products to enable joint fetaures. But no personal or medical information in your Google Health profile is used to customize your Google.com search results or used for advertising. For example, you could not search for your personal medical records on Google.com search.

So if no personal or medical information is used that you have inputted into Google Health - what information are they talking about ?

So why aren't the US Federal government running a system like this for the American's rather than a SE that really is rather contradictory in its own ideologies about what its going to do with individuals personal information. In the long term Google will eventually figure a means of this system being commercially beneficial for Google.

pageoneresults




msg:3654530
 2:23 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ya know, I'm having second thoughts on this. I'm a Baby Boomer as they say and my medical records are scattered about all over the damn country including the U.S. Government. For me to try and bring all those documents together would be a task in itself.

Let me ask this, would you feel more comfortable with your Medical Group posting your information online as opposed to Google? I mean, more and more facilties are moving to web based information storage, where's the "real harm" in this?

Yes, we share information between Google products to enable joint fetaures.

There's the whole premise of the matter. Its an application that will eventually become part of Google's Ad Serving network.

I do know that if there was ever an emergency and I needed my medical records, going online and accessing them in less than a minute is very appealing.

So why aren't the US Federal government running a system like this for the American's rather than a SE that really is rather contradictory in its own ideologies about what its going to do with individuals personal information.

Just how much computing power does Google have right now? More than the U.S. Government?

driller41




msg:3654564
 3:15 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just how much computing power does Google have right now? More than the U.S. Government?

>That is not a valid reason that justifies an advetising company getting into storing people medical records.

Let me ask this, would you feel more comfortable with your Medical Group posting your information online as opposed to Google? I mean, more and more facilties are moving to web based information storage, where's the "real harm" in this?

> Plenty of harm can be done, why does Google want to store your medical records - what is in it for them.

Let me ask this, would you feel more comfortable with your Medical Group posting your information online as opposed to Google?

> I do not want anyone storing my info online period.

That is why I would never go near an idea like this.

incrediBILL




msg:3654593
 4:05 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Have any of you ever read the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regarding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)?

HIPAA lays down a set of privacy requirements for patient data, hopefully they apply to Google as well, but there is an exception that even your doctor or whoever may be forced to disclose data in certain circumstances:

Balancing the protection of individual health information with the need to protect public health, the Privacy Rule expressly permits disclosures without individual authorization to public health authorities authorized by law to collect or receive the information for the purpose of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability, including but not limited to public health surveillance, investigation, and intervention.

So whether it's Google, your doctor, pharmacy or hospital, don't think your data is really all that private as they can get whatever they want whenever they want.

dakuma




msg:3654595
 4:08 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is definately the first and only time that I can say I would not trust Google. In fact I'm not sure I would trust my Doctor's Office with storing my information online, and definately not my Government.

farmboy




msg:3654596
 4:09 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

So why aren't the US Federal government running a system like this for the American's rather than a SE that really is rather contradictory ...

What are you implying - the federal government is trustworthy to safeguard and responsibly use personal medical information?

In case you didn't know, I own the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and I can sell it to you at a really good price. Interested?

FarmBoy

farmboy




msg:3654597
 4:10 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

So whether it's Google, your doctor, pharmacy or hospital, don't think your data is really all that private as they can get whatever they want whenever they want.

... or lose a laptop, data storage device, etc. that happens to include the data on millions of individuals.

FarmBoy

farmboy




msg:3654609
 4:15 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

For me to try and bring all those documents together would be a task in itself.

Is Google going to go to all your prior physicians, hospitals, etc. and gather your information for storage or will you have to provide it to them?

If the latter, this new gizmo won't save you from the task.

And further, if you've made it to Baby Boomer status without bringing all those documents together, what's the point now? I don't know anyone of any age that carries around their complete medical history as they go about their daily lives and travels, yet I never hear of anyone being unable to access medical care without having those records.

FarmBoy

aleksl




msg:3654615
 4:23 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

As I mentioned here:
[webmasterworld.com...]

G$$gle finally got around purchasing health data from some big health company. I wonder which one caved in....

IMHO Google has enough large data processing and analysis capabilities to basically unthrone top companies in this MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR NICHE of health data, and become a health data crunching behemoth.

Now, whatever HIPAA and DHHS know or pretend to know makes no difference, as even smaller companies have capabilities to identify patients (they typically don't, but they can if they have to, and there are many other ways to avoid being Hipoed). So, "privacy" here just doesn't exists.

There's less "privacy" in that data as in recent AOL data dump screw-up, when people were able to identify individual searchers. I for one think Google should be blocked from entering this business, but I guess it aint' up to me to decide :)

willybfriendly




msg:3654621
 4:41 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

That is not a valid reason that justifies an advetising company getting into storing people medical records.

And that is the real point right there.

While many think G is about search, the company is really about advertising. This "free" service is the perfect vehicle into the realm of pharmaceuticals and medical treatments, one of the more lucrative areas if my spam bucket gives any clues.

Opt into this service and you will get "legitimized spam" at the least. How long before a male with erectile dysfunction starts seeing V1agra ads?

The potential for abuse is huge.

mikedee




msg:3654638
 5:07 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

How long before a male with erectile dysfunction starts seeing V1agra ads?

We all get v1agra ads don't we? It might actually be an improvement if only men with problems got the emails. It would add a totally new dimension to spam filtering.

incrediBILL




msg:3654663
 5:36 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I for one think Google should be blocked from entering this business

Who's better qualified, WebMD?

They have a similar health record tracking service that also targets you with ads.

At least with Google your data has a fighting chance of staying secure unlike smaller companies without as much experience or resources (cash) so they don't cut corners on security.

Never mind, I forgot this isn't really about security, it's about vilification of a big corporation, continue on...

[edited by: incrediBILL at 5:37 pm (utc) on May 20, 2008]

aleksl




msg:3654669
 5:47 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Who's better qualified?

I don't think a for-profit corporation should hold this type of Healthcare data. Period. Who's better qualified to do WHAT, make money on the data? :) God only knows, that's a wrong question to ask IMHO

incrediBILL




msg:3654688
 6:19 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't think a for-profit corporation should hold this type of Healthcare data. Period.

So you prefer to trust your data security with non-profits that can't afford to adequately secure your data?

Considering it's OPT-IN, I don't see the fuss, not like it's mandatory.

httpwebwitch




msg:3654721
 7:07 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I gaze into my crystal ball...

A decade from now, there will be two lineups at the Emergency room triage. The short line will be for people who have all their records in Google Health, along with their insurance info, stock portfolio, search history, criminal record, sexual history, social connections, geneological records, gene profile, and tax bracket. They swipe their Google card and walk right in.

Everyone else? excuse me! sir! the lineup starts around the corner behind all the dying people...

aleksl




msg:3654727
 7:14 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

At least this should have a face of being legit and "for the people", via a non-profit.

As far as "can't afford" - a non-profit doesn't mean they can't earn money, they surely can. They just should spend it ;-) this being a multi-billion dollar industry I am sure they, being the main source, will easily secure a good stream of revenue.

I don't see the fuss

ok, I'll give you the fuss.

Crunching this data is a multi-billion dollar industry. Why? Because pharmaceuticals buy analytics. All sorts of analytics, but most interesting analytics is trends. For instance, if a patient got on a drug this year, how long she stayed on it; if she drops it which drug she picks up instead, etc.

Most importantly, if you got healthy, you got off the drug. You are of no interest to Big Pharma. Big Pharma is looking for drugs that people will stay on as long as possible, not the one that will cure you in one shot. Big Pharama hates drugs that cure, because they don't make $$$ on them.

That's why Big Pharma is looking for next V1agra - they even call it a "blockbuster" drug, it doesn't cure, you need to take a pill every single time.

A very big amount of revenue of health data companies are analytics that I've described above. The only way to get more evil than this is to start making their own drugs, and I don't mean aspirin here.

Hugene




msg:3654767
 7:57 pm on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

IMHO Google has enough large data processing and analysis capabilities to basically unthrone top companies in this MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR NICHE of health data, and become a health data crunching behemoth.

This es exactly what Google should be doing, and they are missing the point if they are thinking of Search, Ad or any other of their traditional products.

The business model here is simple: completely private, encrypted but online stored health information, provided to users for a small fee (19.99$ a year?). Gives you full control of your health record. Also allow to show it/share it with MDs, and let MDs modfiy it (securely somehow, how about version tracking? ;)

G owes me mony again for my idea.

Also, just changing the name of such a startup to something else than G would greatly help to alleviate concerns.

[edited by: Hugene at 7:57 pm (utc) on May 20, 2008]

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