Today at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Google’s Marissa Mayer said that users should expect the Google Health project to launch in Spring of 2008. Mayer outlined the ways Google can leverage its intense data storage capabilities to bring the medical field a new way of storing and sharing medical information.
“If you look at health care, there’s already a huge user need, people are already using Google more than any other tool on the Web to find health information,” Mayer told the conference crowd. “And the health care industry generates a huge amount of information every year. It’s a natural core competency fo us, to understand how to organize all that data.”
Richard Martin of InformationWeek reports:
Google has developed a prototype online platform for its health offering that incorporates personal medical records, health care-related search features, diet and exercise regimens, a localized “find a doctor” application, and other elements, Mayer confirmed. The company has shown the prototype to unspecified partners and is having both Google employees and “trusted testers” beta-test the system.
Mayer took over the health care initiative in August, after the original leader, Adam Bosworth, left the company. She said she’s been holding daily 90-minute meetings with the team developing the Google Health software, working on product refinements, improving features, and so on. While some parts of the system will be free, she says, the health care services and applications could be subscription-based.
InformationWeek adds that Google faces a ‘formiable competitor’ in Micorsoft, which is already making its Health moves.
Earlier this year, Microsoft acquired Medstory, a Foster City, Calif.-based startup specializing in search software optimized for finding health information. Microsoft has not publicly disclosed its plans for a health-related product, but is said to be working on an offering that combines software with an online component.
“We’re building a broad consumer health platform,” Steve Shihadeh, general manager of Microsoft’s health solutions group, told The New York Times in August.