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Google’s Impact on Open Healthcare

20 August, 2007 - 1 min read

I have some strong reservations about data ownership when we talk about a Google-dependent world. However I think the current state of biomedical informatics is begging for the information giant to step into the picture. Deepak over at BBGM linked to some intriguing screenshots of Google Health. My first thought, “It’s about time!”. Health information management is a disaster in the U.S., so maybe Google was afraid of tackling this problem since so much of it is still out of their control.

We shouldn’t have to fill out lengthy forms on paper every time we need health care. We need open health information systems. We need predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine, as described by Dr. Leroy Hood of the Institute for Systems Biology. Health care as I see it today is reactive, meaning it applies some generalized solution only after the problem manifests itself as an ailment. We can do better. It’s an unfortunate situation that physicians deal with lumbering and bureaucratic information systems. Medical records should exist in decentralized repositories with real-time services for care providers as well as for patients themselves.