Future of Google Health

John Moore at Chilmark Research asks today if Google Health is irrelevant. I’m re-blogging it because I agree with him. Microsoft is easily the leading player in broad audience Personal Health Record platforms. That doesn’t mean their product is ideal – it’s certainly not – but they’ve been improving it steadily and have integrated it with a very cohesive strategy aimed at engaging with the healthcare industry as a whole. Google hasn’t done that.

One take-away I had from the Microsoft Health Solutions Group conference in June (besides one heck of an airplane-acquired infection) was how tightly Microsoft is linking Amalga UIS – its hospital intelligence/data warehousing offering – with HealthVault. Amalga is the back-door – hospitals will make the data integration investments because of bottom-line and quality improvement benefits that are realized by UIS. But once that work is done, integrating with HealthVault is just flipping a switch. Microsoft has allocated its R&D money accordingly.

Google, on the other hand, still strikes me as simply dallying in healthcare. They’ve done some good work in focused healthcare search, but that’s pretty much where it ends. I completely agree with John’s statement that Google has gotten disproportionate attention simply because it’s Google. I’m not really inclined to start trying to take down the myth of Google here, but it’s safe to say that the company isn’t omnicompetent. From very personal experience, it was quite difficult to get projects in PHR off the ground during the six months after Google Health leaked but before it launched. There was a huge chilling effect – everybody wanted to wait and see what Google would do.

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