CLEAR! Shocking Google Health Back to Life

* This is the second part of my commentary on the June HealthVault Connected Care Conference in Seattle. I hope to use this post to motivate my good friends at Google Health into taking a much more public, visible, and proactive role in the health conversation. More importantly, it is a call to Google HQ to wake up to the opportunity within health care to leverage their current tools and technology to create a platform that others can use to enable the creation of a next generation health system.

The scene was familiar, but it didn’t take away the tragedy. A young motor vehicle accident victim was involved in a head on collision with a drunk driver. The blunt trauma to the chest had created a literal mish-mash of complex internal injuries. The ambulance crew had attempted multiple times enroute to obtain a pulse and the monitors were all flatlined from the field. They intubated the patient in the field, performed CPR enroute, and initiated a ATLS protocol which included shocking the patient en route. In the face of asystole (lack of heart movement) after blunt trauma to the chest, the indication is to literally crack the chest open (called a anterolateral thoracotomy), a serious medieval last ditch rescue effort to save a life.

My perception is that the Mack truck called Microsoft HealthVault has just run over a young upstart, Google Health, who had such a promising future. The blunt trauma has put the patient in a precarious fight for survival, and the only way out that this ER doctor can see is to crack the chest open.

I really like Missy, Roni, and crew and believe they are smart, capable, and well connected individuals who have really done some great work to get the product launched. However, I cannot for the life of me understand why Google as an organization cannot get serious about the Health care vertical. A couple of stats:

My most recent assessment of the Google Health vs. Microsoft Health Here is my most recent assessment of the Microsoft Health vs. Google Health

It is not like Google couldn’t do some amazing things very fast. I am not just talking about Google Wave style innovation, I mean just their current assets themselves could be reassembled in short order to produce a very useful health care communication platform. They already have gmail, calendering, photos, search, documents, video, chat, and a framework from which to store/retrieve their health information. I think you could build out a mashup in no time that is immediately competitive and would be the leading “groupware” tool available. They also have all their current relationships and the interest of any health care CEO in the country.

Ironically, the reference to iGoogle (platform w/ widgets of functionality) was mentioned more than once at the Microsoft HealthVault conference. I don’t remember hearing about this at the Google conference – oh, oops – Google doesn’t have a conference.

I guess my point is that I love the innovation machine that is Google. I am just profoundly disappointed at what appears to be a lack of commitment by the organization to truly invest and innovate in the health care space. Is it a strategy question? An opportunity cost situation? Why the paralysis?

Google! The patient is dying on the table. The only thing I can see doing at this point is getting out the rib cutters.

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6 Comments

Filed under Conferences, Innovation, Irony

6 responses to “CLEAR! Shocking Google Health Back to Life

  1. Pingback: Is Google Health Irrelevant? « Chilmark Research

  2. Pingback: Microsoft HealthVault is a Serious Business Strategy. Will Google Health Become More than a Hobby? | e-CareManagement

  3. Scott –

    You’re absolutely right. At Google GTUG Campout *as we speak* coding 2 health related apps for web/Android.

    At least 2 other teams (out of 30 slated to demo/present tomorrow) are working on health apps.

    One team tried to work on an app that sounds great in theory but is toeing the line of legality – pulling data from Google Health and sending individual clinical trial invites.

    Another team had a great concept for a Wave pulling data from Google Health, but Ash, the developer, had an overly broad concept. After talking to him, I think he’s got a fantastic refined concept app for Wave that I hope he’ll show tomorrow (can’t tell more or I’ll spoil it).

    So the long and short of it – in 2 weeks, I’ve been project managing various teams that have built 4 health apps integrating Google data (from Health Gcode API or web flu search or other).

    I have yet to see a Googler from Health at any of these events. Wave support is in the house this weekend, as are other Google staffers.

    I sincerely hope Google takes notice. We’re the code team (literally and figuratively) and we don’t want to give up the ghost.

  4. Pingback: Is Google Health Irrelevant? | MedsFileBlog.com | The official blog of MedsFile.com - Online Personal Health Records

  5. mtb

    Interesting information. I didn’t know that and thanks for bringing me up to speed. I will check back more often.

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