Google e-health record failure offers local lessons

GOOGLE’S decision to shelve its online health-record service due to poor consumer take-up has created fresh doubt over the future of the Australian Government’s own personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR).

Google Health allows users to create an online health profile by manually uploading their medical history, prescriptions and pathology tests to a secure server for collation into a continuity of care record.

However, in a post on the Official Google Blog, senior product manager Aaron Brown said the company had failed to find “a way to translate… limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people”. The service will be pulled next year.

Health IT consultant Dr David More said he wasn’t surprised the service had limited impact and that its failure cast doubt on the ability of the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) to garner broad use of a PCEHR.