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Microsoft 1, Google 0

August 16, 2011
by Joe Marion
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Google’s strategy to halt Health was premature, and the jury is still out on what its Motorola acquisition will mean

I know it’s an interesting time of year for sports, particularly if you are a Wisconsinite such as me! (Need I mention the Packers or the Brewers?) Fortunately, I am not talking sports. I am speaking to experience with PHI in the cloud. I recently blogged on Google’s decision to exit the personal health storage business (Google Rains on the Cloud, June 30, 2011), and suggested it would be a boon to others in the market, such as Microsoft’s HealthVault. On July 18th Microsoft published a press release relating to the migration of data from Google Health to HealthVault ( ).

Having previously experimented with Google Heath, I thought I would try out the migration and see what happened. First, I created an account with Microsoft HealthVault. Then I signed into Google Health and selected the option to transfer my data to another provider. The resultant message said that I would receive an email confirmation and that it would have instructions for completing the process.

I received the email and used the link to sign into HealthVault, and voila – my data had been transferred! Thus far, the only information that I can find that was not automatically transferred was the DICOM CT image that I had previously uploaded to Google. The failure to transfer this image is indicative of the difficulty with migration applications in not always or erroneously transferring data!

I am now experimenting with HealthVault to see what capabilities it has. I was able to successfully get my mail order medications supplier to successfully link to HealthVault from Google Health, and I added an additional link to the ACC’s CardioSmart blood pressure tracking module ( To upload images, I first had to install the Microsoft Connection Center for Windows application. Once that application is launched, it links to HealthVault and I was able to browse the DICOM folder on an imaging study CD and upload it to HealthVault – all very easy! Thank goodness for a high speed internet connection (1 MB upload), as it took less than five minutes to upload a 34 image study! From what I have seen thus far, I can view thumbnails of the image series, but there is no image viewer to view the study.

I am still wrestling with Google’s strategy to halt Google Health. I still believe their decision was premature. I also haven’t figured out their announced intent yesterday to acquire Motorola Mobility. Everything I have read on it questions why they would mess with the success of the open system nature of Android and risk the relationship with other equipment vendors, particularly when Motorola’s market share is so small. I could speculate to the opportunity for a custom tablet application running Android that linked to Google Health and allowed access to my PHI wherever I went. So why drop one (Google Health) when you are on the verge of acquiring another (Motorola Mobility)?!

Google must have an amazing crystal ball to see where they are headed. They will either be market geniuses for these moves, or just another company that killed the golden goose!

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