In disappointing news, apparently Google has closed Google Health, saying that it hasn’t been as disruptive as it could’ve been. In an interesting unintentional commentary on Peter Orszag’s claim that new health care information technology will disproportionately benefit the rich, apparently one of their problems was that only the affluent were using the personal health records provided by Google Health.
That’s a shame, because some form of electronic medical records is clearly necessary for moving to a more innovative, cheaper and more effective health care system. And while Google has a reputation for disruption, I’m not quite sure they were thinking disruptively enough when it came to their product: they were trying to interface with health care providers’ electronic medical records when they should have been trying to replace them entirely. In terms of creating a more functional, popular product, that’s not a big ask—not only are they too-rarely used, but the actual design of the things generally stinks (have you seen yours, if you have one? Chances are it looks like a mid-90s Windows RPG, interface-wise.) So, too bad.