Google Health Retires

Google just announced the forthcoming end of their personally controlled health care record Google Health due to lack of widespread adoption. We have been working with the service since its launch in 2008 and used it as a back-end for various projects (most recently for a medication reconciliation tool tied to the SMART platform). Google Health was offering a very decent user interface, a fair amount of API support and some really good interfacing ideas; I hate to see this one go.

[UPDATE] You might deduct how important the project was in the end from the fact that it was not even worth a shutdown announcement for itself.

The Search for Evidence

An interesting but also discomforting thought that came up last during a discussion regarding Biomedical Informatics: Our very computational idea of evidence based medicine is with its maybe ten years of of presence still a fairly new concept to the field. For decades, the procedures applied to patients were largely based on experience, intuition and a somewhat vague and very encapsulated “it worked quite well last time”-approach rather than on globally proven facts.

We only just started to imagine and implement systems for collecting health care information and delivering it back to health care professionals in forms that empower them to optimal decision making. Keeping in mind how young this concept of Health Information Exchange is, we can only assume that there is certainly still room for massive improvement.