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Am I the only person that’s not heard of Google Health?

12 May 2010

This, in the nature of the web, is a convoluted one.

It confirms that the web is very……well, webby.

I saw a nice review to a very smart iPhone app called Pastebot that takes copy and paste to another level. Mac users will be particularly pleased as they have a free syncing app that is just genius. The same company also produces Weightbot – not surprisingly an app to record your weight/BMI etc. And before you ask, yes, I did buy it and I am starting to track my weight.

Well, interestingly Weightbot can pull data pushed to the internet by some wifi enabled bathroom scales from a company called Withings. These scales can also push data to Google Health. Got there in the end.

So, Google Health, which is only available to US users, allows one to create your own medical profile including conditions, medications. allergies, procedures, test results and immunisations. Profiles can also be created for family members and shared with others. There is of course a huge raft of privacy issues here – but I don’t think we should be scared to examine this usage.

Naturally, because the folks at Google are pretty clever, it’s possible to pull data from healthcare providers such as pharmacies, radiologists and labs such as Quest Diagnostics. There are even services that will find your medical records from around the globe and convert them to Google Health format. Another provider accepts faxed records and converts them for you.

Another feature is the ability to authorise specialist diagnostic services to monitor your glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI etc. so that they can provide you with alerts and reminders.

Famously one of Google’s tenet’s is to ‘do no evil’. They could do significant good if they continued to develop their electronic health records into a freely available global standard.

Having a global standard that became widely adopted could significantly improve protocol feasibility evaluation, facilitate the identification of suitable subjects for clinical trials, allow data exchange with EDC systems and ultimately reduce the SDV burden.

Thanks for staying with me on this one!

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4 Comments
  1. Ian permalink

    See also Microsoft Healthvault, Dossia.org and others…

  2. Hmmm, I can see a time when there will be an inclusion criteria in a protocol that states “Does the patient or carer have ready access to an internet-enabled device with a standards-compliant web browser?”. Convergence of ePRO and EDC. New categories of user in such a hybrid system – Patient & Carer alongside Investigator, Study Coordinator etc. Wonder if IRBs/Ethics committees would have a problem with that exclusion criteria as it might select out certain parts of society?

  3. Ian permalink

    Might go that way. Alternatively might recruit direct from the PMR system if patients (users) allow some sharing of their information. Probabluy will appeal initially only to those patients who are desperately looking for a cure.

    Another option would be that clinical trial systems provide a facility for patients to upload their medical record via the Continuity of Care (CCR) record or to share it from their PHR if they enroll in a trial. This would allow the suck-in of historical prescription data, medical devices (e.g. pacemakers), immunizations, vital signs etc, potentially saving some time in data entry.

    Yet another option is that this data is transferred from the physicians EHR system into the Clinical Trial system via a CCR or RFD (Request Form for Data Capture).

    Who knows how this will settle, but options are opening up.

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