Monday, May 19, 2008

Google Health

Please read this post by our CIO John Halamka for a report about today's launch of Google Health and BIDMC's participation in this program.

5 comments:

nasov said...

In a word, WOW.

e-Patient Dave said...

As I've said here before, and have been saying elsewhere tonight, I have major reservations about this, because Google is not covered by HIPAA. As much as I love you guys, I'm having a hard time understanding why BIDMC doesn't consider this a show-stopper.

Paul Levy said...

Dave,

Given that this decision is totally in the hands of patients, why would we stand in the way of it? You seem to be a bit paternalistic about this, suggesting that we should impede an individual's opportunity to use this form of data storage even if he or she feels it would be helpful to them. Please explain more.

e-Patient Dave said...

Great response, Paul - food for thought.

Your question shifts my flashlight over to the subscriber (me). My "mission," if I have one, shifts to warning patients to think very carefully before entrusting their data to a big company that's basically in the advertising business and has no liability at all if they misuse it.

I might think differently in a day or two but right now I wonder if a solution would to put big, fat, prominent warnings around it (and not in the people-never-read-it "I agree" text): "You are giving your data to Google, which is not subject to HIPAA protections. While they say every effort will be made to keep it safe, you are trusting Google to do that, you have no recourse if anything goes wrong, and BIDMC no longer has direct control over what happens to your data. We believe it's a good thing or we wouldn't offer it, but from here on it's your responsibility."

Do you at least see my point?

You know how much I favor "radical overthrow" of conventional methods but in this case I think the public is not at all getting full disclosure of the risks, amid the media flurry.

Paul Levy said...

Yup, I think it is best solved by disclosure . . .