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Friday, January 12, 2007

Google’s Bosworth on Health Care

Google just published a transcript of a speech their Vice President Adam Bosworth gave back in December:

Google can find all the most relevant answers to any query you submit across the entire web in less than a one-third of a second and yet, in general, your physician cannot get the lab results from your last specialist without paper and fax. (...)

[Y]our physician cannot always reliably and optimally treat you without a comprehensive knowledge of what has been wrong with you in the past, how you were treated, and how you responded to the treatment. The lack of easily accessible, comprehensive medical records results in people being in more pain for longer than they should be. (...)

We should not accept this. We should not accept that the institutional barriers of the system cause tens of thousands to die unnecessarily and hundreds of thousands at the very least to suffer without cause while we pay an enormous bill.

So what can be done? We should start at the beginning. Let’s put the patients in charge of their health and medical information. Let’s build a system which puts the people who are sick in control. For every single medical and health-related event, let’s make sure that patients can effortlessly retrieve and share their information in its totality and then use it to ensure that they get the best quality of care possible. It is their health.

Adam goes on to say that every ill person needs needs a “health URL.” This page is supposed to be a meeting place web application where authorized people can “come together, pass on notes to each other, review each other’s notes, look at the medical data, and suggest courses of action.”

One of Adam’s earlier forays into getting health information online with Google was Google Co-Op, where, as Adam put it, “Google and the health community have labeled sites and pages across the web making it easier for users to refine their health queries and locate the medical information they need.”

[Photo by Google.]


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