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Microsoft and Google Consumer Health Initatives

May 7, 2008
by lstofko
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Welcome! Next week I will be interviewed for my thoughts on the likes of Google and Microsoft entering the consumer healthcare space, so I thought I would jot down a few of my thoughts for people to consider.

I applaud the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Revolution Health entering the electronic health records space. As a healthcare information technology professional for over twenty years, I understand the usual points of view for and against Internet accessible health records. One side touts convenience, patient safety, and cost savings while the other warns of privacy breaches and misuse of the information.

I agree with Steve Case in his recent HIMSS keynote speech and say “let the consumer decide and drive this revolution”. Tools such as the personal health record are well suited to improve the health of our population, specifically those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

While it is not for everyone and should not be mandated, maybe the entrance of these “tech giants” teaming up with consumers will be what it takes to get healthcare providers talking to one another in a digital world.

So I ask this question as an example... Would it be so bad for a breast cancer patient to receive an email pushed by the drug comapny Genentech to their Gmail or Hotmail account announcing that Avastin has been approved by the FDA for breast cancer treatment? I think it would actually be a good thing.

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