Adam Bosworth, Google's brains behind a Google service called "Google Health" that is still in development, has made several presentations about the healthcare industry and how Google may be working to improve it. The proposed service, though still a mystery, caught the attention of Vince Kuraitis back in June -- causing him to write about what he thinks it may look like based on hints dropped in those presentations. His article is a long but insightful read.
We’ve been provided a number of clues about the technology model that GH is likely to develop:
- Patient centric
- A personal health URL
- Automated data mechanisms to gather and store PHI
- Interoperable technical standards: XML and the Continuity of Care Record (CCR) standard
- A user interface
- Appropriate security and confidentiality measures
- Value added functionality (over time)
The only way that I’d differ from Vince (other than I was too lazy to write mine out fully) is that that I’d add in the one interesting VC investment Google has made. It’s in 23andme.
23andme is a startup founded by Sergey Brin's wife and funded by Sergey himself. The stage is set to give users access and real control of their own personal health. Just imagine one day being able to diagnose yourself with heart disease and take preventative measures years before a potential heart attack -- scientifically determined through the human genome. Google would have to be very careful allowing users to diagnose themselves, but if its done right it could have a huge impact on society and quality of life.
If this happens, Google will simultaneously create and dominate a market that would take significant investment to enter.