(AFP) – Feb 21, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — A US medical clinic revealed on Thursday that it is helping Google test a much-anticipated online health record service that promises to compete with one launched last year by Microsoft.
Cleveland Clinic in the state of Ohio said it plans to enroll up to 10,000 patients in an invitation-only private pilot project in collaboration with the California Internet titan.
The Google Health service is crafted to let patients use the Internet to efficiently and privately share their medical information with various health care providers and pharmacies, according to the clinic.
"We believe patients should be able to easily access and manage their own health information," Google vice president Marissa Mayer said in a written release.
Google chose Cleveland Clinic because it already lets patients manage electronic medical records online.
"The partnership with Google is an example of true innovation in health care which brings value to patients and providers," said clinic chief executive Delos Cosgrove, who is a member of Google's Health Advisory Council.
"As the volume of medical information available to patients increases, it becomes more important for doctors and patients to use this information in a way that empowers the patient to be more collaborative with their care providers."
The collaboration will let Google test software tools built to allow patients to securely exchange medical information such as prescriptions, allergies, and illnesses with health care providers, according to the clinic.
In October, Google rival Microsoft launched HealthVault software and services designed to let people store and selectively share medical records.
People are concerned because "they must navigate a complex web of disconnected interactions between providers, hospitals, insurance companies and even government agencies," Microsoft Health Solutions Group vice president Peter Neupert said at the launch.
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