Google retires Health, PowerMeter; poor adoption to blame

Google will retire its Health and PowerMeter services because people failed to adopt them widely enough.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Google on Friday announced that it will retire its Health and PowerMeter services because people failed to adopt them widely enough.

In a blog post, senior product manager Aaron Brown and "green energy czar" Bill Weihl acknowledged that the products "didn’t catch on the way we would have hoped."

Google Health intended to give people access to their personal health and wellness information; PowerMeter aimed to raise awareness about the importance of giving people access to data surrounding their energy usage.

Health will retire on Jan. 1 2012 and make its data available for download through Jan. 1, 2013. PowerMeter will close down Sept. 16, 2011.

Brown and Weihl write:

Both were based on the idea that with more and better information, people can make smarter choices, whether in regard to managing personal health and wellness, or saving money and conserving energy at home. While they didn't scale as we had hoped, we believe they did highlight the importance of access to information in areas where it’s traditionally been difficult.

Specifically: Google Health was "not having the broad impact that we hoped it would," seeing adoption by tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, as well as fitness and wellness enthusiasts, but not the greater population.

"We continue to be strong believers in the role information plays in healthcare and in improving the way people manage their health," they write.

For more on how that affects Microsoft's HealthVault offering, head over to Mary Jo Foley's All About Microsoft.

Meanwhile, despite increasing adoption of smart meters and other intelligent home energy devices and favorable policies in California and Texas, PowerMeter suffered from the same fate: scale.

"Momentum is building toward making energy information more readily accessible, and it’s exciting to see others drive innovation and pursue opportunities in this important new market," the authors write.

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