Someone over at The Deal, a site that tracks venture capital activity, sent me their latest scoop: a move by Google to enter the health field in a major way is in the works (although as the site points out, “the product is in developmental stages now and there is no certainty that it will be launched”), with something codenamed Google Health Scrapbook. This would gogo well beyond the Google Co-op targeted search-functions that were revealed earlier this year.
According to The Deal, Google executives have already met with WebMD in New York to bring them in as a partner for the new service (with plans for other partners in the future), and the company has also been talking with Intuit, the software company, which has a program that lets users keep track of their medical expenses. The idea appears to be that users would be able to log in with their Google account information and do things such as adding a new medical provider, tracking their medical records or even paying their medical bills.
The Deal says that Google Health Scrapbook would also provide information about hospitals such as the frequency that a hospital performs a specific type of procedure. And the person in charge of the rollout appears to be Missy Krasner, a project manager who joined Google earlier this year and before that was a senior official in the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
Search results and even email might be one thing, but are consumers prepared to have a Web giant like Google track and maintain their entire health records? I think health information and tax data are the two hotspots for many people, and it’s a bit of a stretch to think that they would want to send all that over the Web just because Google says it’s going to add value to it somehow. It will be interesting to see how this one flies — or if it flies. More comment at Inside Google and Google Blogoscoped.