Monthly Archive for June, 2011

Google Health: R.I.P.

The announcement that Google Health was being discontinued shouldn’t be a surprise.  In March the Wall Street Journal reported that once Larry Page took over the CEO role at Google he would be looking to cut projects:

Some managers believe Mr. Page will eliminate or downgrade projects he doesn’t believe are worthwhile, freeing up employees to work on more important initiatives, these people said. One project expected to get less support is Google Health, which lets people store medical records and other health data on Google’s servers, said people familiar with the matter.

There have been a number of retrospectives written today already, most concerned with the future of PHRs. For example:

It just goes to show you that being a pioneer does not guarantee long-term success. Microsoft HealthVault has done a much better job with device integration than Google Health did. There are many other factors that will determine the viability of PHRs in general though.  Adoption by the general population and a revenue model to support growth are just a few.

UPDATE (6/25/11): Mr. HIStalk’s take is the lead in Monday Morning Update 6/27/11. Two quotable statements:

Why did Google Health fail? Simple and obvious: consumer demand for personal health records is close to zero, which has always been the case and probably always will be.

Probably true.

Google predictably did what its know-it-all technology company predecessors have done over the years: dipped an arrogant and half-assed toe into the health IT waters; roused a loud rabble of shrieking fanboy bloggers and reporters…

OK, but how do you really feel?

Seriously though, I think Google’s foray in the Healthcare space was no different then how they approach any other market: “If we build it, they will come.”  If they don’t come, we pull the plug. Google has a graveyard full of products that suffered the same fate.

UPDATE (6/26/11): Some more:

UPDATE (7/1/11):

ZDNet Healthcare: Gone forever?

Wow! It took me 7 months to realize that I had not seen an update from the ZDNet Healthcare blog. The reason is that Dana Blankenhorn was fired around the end of November 2010.  Apparently it was his Free and Open Source (FOSS)  blogging that lead to his demise at ZDNet. Also see the comments section in this article.

I commented on his Healthcare blog several times and even took issue with him in Access to Medical Data: Are PC Standards and PHRs (You) the Answer?

It looks like ZDNet has not found a replacement for dedicated Healthcare coverage. This means I can remove ‘ZDNet Healthcare Blog RSS’ from my reader feed.



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