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Google to Offer Online Personal Health Records 242

Posted by samzenpus
from the google-your-liver-profile dept.
hhavensteincw writes "Less than two weeks after Microsoft announced plans to offer personal health records, Google announced today that it plans to offer online personal health records to help patients tote and store their own x-rays and other health data. Google made the announcement Wednesday at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco."
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Google to Offer Online Personal Health Records

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  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:25AM (#21020955)
    We don't have enough of your personal data. Why don't you let us have your health records too?
    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jarjarthejedi (996957) <christianpinch@g ... minus physicist> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:35AM (#21021015) Journal
      Unfortunately that's pretty close to the facts...Google is starting to get closer and closer to that satirical picture where someone googles "Where are my Car Keys" and Google actually knows. For some this may be a boon, but it also has negative impacts as well.
      • Re:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

        by sonamchauhan (587356) <sonamc@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @01:03AM (#21021177) Journal
        :-) Imagine a Google-search enabled roomba going about it's daily business, picking up things like RFID tags on your car keys, updating your 'Google home' database. When you lose the keys, search your Google home "where are my car keys" and it pops up a map of your house illustrating the last known position.

        • by Dekortage (697532)

          Or, I'll be able to type in "Where are Sonamchauhan's car keys?" and it pops up a map of YOUR house illustrating the last known position.

          Now, if we could have Google track cell phones, OnStars, and EZPass tollway tags, we might even be able to track our teenagers and spouses...

        • Or your Roomba finds your hair, analyzes it on the spot, sends the result to your Google Health or whatever and Google lets you know you should more this or that.
          I am using it for search and email, but I'm not going to use any of those creepy services.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2007 @01:49AM (#21021391)
        Geeze, you're sure right. I Googled 'anal warts' and their first result was "Hi, Ed, who lives at 1425 Maryland Avenue. For $50, we won't tell your wife you queried about this."
        • by neoform (551705)

          Geeze, you're sure right. I Googled 'anal warts' and their first result was "Hi, Ed, who lives at 1425 Maryland Avenue. For $50, we won't tell your wife you queried about this."


          But we will tell the government.
        • by muellerr1 (868578)
          That gives me a great idea for some Google AdWords.
      • Bad is when you can google "Where are my neighbor's car keys?"
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by penix1 (722987)
        The problem then becomes one of relevance...

        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Where+are+my+keys%3F&btnG=Google+Search [google.com]

        returns:

        Results 1 - 10 of about 509,000,000 for Where are my keys?

        Are you really telling me there are 509,000,000 places they can be? Sounds like you will be searching for a while there...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      There's no excuse for using Google for anything. Considering Google's #1 motive seems to be to collect as much information as possible on the public, it really makes you question their ultimate goals and wonder about how such a young company got so much funding so quickly to become the monolith they are.

      "Free" is far, far too expensive of a price to pay for any of Google's "services", as neat as they may be.

      http://www.scroogle.org/ [scroogle.org] (they even have a https Firefox plugin and an IE agent available) is a good
      • it really makes you question their ultimate goals

        Why? Google is all about targeted advertising. Better profiles on us just lets them deliver better ads. These profiles are what Google, Microsoft, etc are all fighting over.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by X0563511 (793323)
          And honestly, I don't mind targeted ads - if done right I might actually be interested! Compare those to cable TV ads...

          The issue is when that data is retained after processing and potentially lost/given/used inappropriately.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FleaPlus (6935)
        Considering Google's #1 motive seems to be to collect as much information as possible on the public

        Well, uh, yes. They're a search company. Collecting information on everything and anything is what they do.

        it really makes you question their ultimate goals and wonder about how such a young company got so much funding so quickly to become the monolith they are

        Well yes, they must obviously be a branch of the CIA/Haliburton! If not them, then the Illuminati/Freemason coalition must be responsible for Google's l
      • by Joe Tie. (567096)
        Do you remember what the web was like before google? I recall the relief on peoples faces when I showed google to them. Not a surprise at all that they moved up so quickly.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Saffaya (702234)
          Yes I remember.
          It was called Altavista and didn't work as bad as you make it to be.

          The only fault I could point about it were a longer name than google and a less simplistic home page.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Ctrl-Z (28806)
            You must be from a parallel universe. Did you not see what AltaVista had become around the time Google arrived? I suppose if you were blocking ads then it was just fine, but be realistic.
          • AltaVista (Score:3, Informative)

            ...and comparatively slow and less precise in relevance. I also remember AltaVista as the best thing going before I'd heard of Google (and NorthernLight at about the same time, if anyone remembers that). Searching for specific code snippets and developer resources was tedious, and it got *much* easier for me when Google came along.

            Really, does anyone remember how the speed difference felt at the time? Google was the first major search engine I saw printing the search execution time on the results page, and
        • by Zebra_X (13249)
          Yeah, it was called AltaVista and it worked well before they sold out and started tinkering with the results.
      • There's no excuse for using Google for anything. Considering Google's #1 motive seems to be to collect as much information as possible on the public, it really makes you question their ultimate goals and wonder about how such a young company got so much funding so quickly to become the monolith they are

        If by 'funding' you mean having an extremely successful business that sells services people gladly pay for, then yes, they got a lot of 'funding' very quickly.

        As for motive, their motive is to make money - like any corporation. Collecting information is one of their strategies to do that; the same is true for Yahoo and Microsoft. I understand your concern, but this is a more general issue than Google, it is the question of how our lives connect online and what we do with our personal information there.

      • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:20AM (#21022781) Homepage
        Their ultimate goal is plain as pie: Make a shitload of money. That tends to be the ultimate goal of most companies. You're correct to be suspicious: Their goal of making money may not align well with -your- various goals.
      • by suv4x4 (956391)
        There's no excuse for using Google for anything. Considering Google's #1 motive seems to be to collect as much information as possible on the public, it really makes you question their ultimate goals and wonder about how such a young company got so much funding so quickly to become the monolith they are.

        It was less than year ago when people over here would throw themselves defending anything "Google". This is reversing now.

        Well, I'd agree to the optimists that we can do literally magic, with Google having a
      • So you just end up trusting another organization with all your searching needs instead? An organization that isn't under constant public scrutiny and has little/no motive for actually keeping your searches private? Seems a little misplaced to me...
      • by Gorimek (61128) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @09:35AM (#21023815) Homepage
        As stated on http://www.google.com/corporate/ [google.com], Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

        It's hardly surprising then, or nefarious, that Google's product announcements tend to focus on information gathering and management rather than, say, toasters.
    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

      by garcia (6573) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:51AM (#21021119) Homepage
      Why don't you let us have your health records too?

      The operative word here is "let". It's not like they are indexing publicly available records and placing them out there in one easy to locate spot for everyone to see. People choose to use GMail, have their conversations logged in GTalk, catalog their daily schedules and sync their work calendaring to GCalendar, and search for ways to kill their lovers in the most secretive ways on Vanilla Google.

      If someone wants to offer up their personal privacy to a company, so be it. While I'm not telling you to stop your personal crusade to educate the retarded general public, I'm just telling you that it's better than what other companies are probably doing behind closed doors. I guarantee that Google, even in its infinitely undetermined future evil ways will be less so than 99% of the rest of the companies out there.

      I really hope that I don't get proven wrong ;)
      • It's not like they are indexing publicly available records and placing them out there in one easy to locate spot for everyone to see.

        They would if there were any such records. And it'd only bother them when you put in "Eric Schmidt medical records". Then they'd throw a bit of a tantrum and not talk to you for a year.

        I guarantee that Google, even in its infinitely undetermined future evil ways will be less so than 99% of the rest of the companies out there.

        So what is your guarantee worth? Seriously. Because

        • ---We all pay for our internet connection and then a significant portion of our bandwidth is used solely for the benefit and profit of Google to stream ads all over your screen.

          Try rephrasing that. The Unintelligent pay for the ads streamed all over their screens.

          The intelligent run their own cut and dry DNS server with "Does Not Exist" on ad servers. Along with that, the intelligent use Firefox with strong ad blockers and HTML 'cleaners' to prevent stupid Javascript (when we even allow it).

          The intelligent
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
            No, the intelligent don't give a damn about ads, they learn to tune them out automatically.

            I'm only part serious, of course (although that is what I do)... my point is to stop being smug about what you're doing, attitudes like that make life worse for everyone.

            • I guess it comes down to it.

              Why should I pay via advertisement, to keep a website living? If their donation isnt enough, or they cannot make money (assuming profit-making), why do they deserve to live?

              Slashdot for example: There's ads here. One can buy a "premium membership" to temporially rid themselves of ads, or one can use the impressive DNS blockers OR Firefox plugins to just remove the HTML. They get money from ads, obviously, but who provides the content? We the numbered users do.

              Slashdot needs us to
        • We all pay for our internet connection and then a significant portion of our bandwidth is used solely for the benefit and profit of Google to stream ads all over your screen.

          Firefox [mozilla.com] + Adblock [mozilla.org] + NoScript [mozilla.org] = User Control

          Declare your independence from Internet advertisers and take back control of the connection that you pay for. Your bandwidth, your client, your rules.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The funny thing is that anybody would think that giving Google any significantly person information about themselves would be smart. It's been demonstrated time and again that Google isn't any more capable at keeping the asshats out than any other web service.

          Well, if it's been demonstrated time and again that Google has hacked and user data has been stolen, you shouldn't have any trouble citing examples. Since I'm sure such events would have made the press, please post from reputable sources.

          And they've really only managed to hit two home runs in all the efforts that they have made: Advertising, and a distance second, search. I suppose you could throw in the fact that they are really good at externalizing costs. We all pay for our internet connection and then a significant portion of our bandwidth is used solely for the benefit and profit of Google to stream ads all over your screen.

          I'm sure Google pays plenty for its own bandwidth and internet access. I'm sorry you feel that websites should subsidize your internet access for content you chose to pull down. Personally I'm just happy that for one relatively low rate with an ISP I can access million

    • Data mining (Score:5, Insightful)

      by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:55AM (#21021135)

      Epidemiological data mining. Google Earth overlays, with clusters of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and E. coli infections near fast food restaurants. There might be clusters of radon-related lung cancer. There are some really nifty things you could find out by centralizing medical records. Alter or improve traffic patterns in neighborhoods where statistically more people are getting hit by cars.

      I'm not advocating that we actually do all this, just pointing out some possibilities.

      • by goombah99 (560566)
        Yeah then we can use google's sidewalk view to zoom in, look in your window, and check the specimen (you) out.
      • by gaspyy (514539) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @01:32AM (#21021319)
        Data mining, when done well, can be very beneficial.
        Somehow, all I can think of is more targeted ads for Viagra instead.
        • by mcrbids (148650)

          Somehow, all I can think of is more targeted ads for Viagra instead.


          That would be just wonderful! Because, see, I'M NOT A TARGET FOR VIAGRA. I'm 35, and very sexually active, with my wife and I having 6 kids. I have no interest in Viagra WHATSOEVER. The noodle is holding up just fine, thanks.

          It would be such a JOY to have targeted V146rA ads, instead of the spammy "M4ke CHIsk LOVE yuz" crap I have to deal with, simply because, being targeted, I wouldn't receive them.

          Targeting ads is not a bad thing. It mean
      • The CDC Epidemiology Program Office [cdc.gov] is one the best, if not the best, epidemiology programs in the world. And they work with sanitized (i.e. private) data and they don't need to know how many times a day you read Slashdot or what type of dirty messages your sending your s/o (although that might be related to your infection ;p). As others have pointed out above, giving data like this to Google is just *stupid*. The medical records I have in my possession are in a locked fire-safe and only come out when I
    • The problem is Google doesn't spell out how they use your data. I believed that Google only displayed ads based on what was on the page when I opened an e-mail. They MIGHT do this, or they might scour the e-mail for information and attach it to my username. I don't know. When Gmail was first launched Google made it sound like they did the former, only after reading the privacy policy did I realize they left themselves open to do the latter.
      • Why is harvesting info from gmail a surprise? They had been using search to profile individuals to deliver targeted ads for quite a while.
        • Because when Gmail was first launched there was a big privacy outcry and Google came out assuring us it was all about nothing. They made it sound like they didn't harvest e-mails.
          • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @02:43AM (#21021629)

            They made it sound like they didn't harvest e-mails.
            No, they didn't. Assured you there were no real privacy concerns, yes. Claim they didn't do automated analysis of email contents for purposes of searching ads, no.

            Seriously -- I was reading their statements at the time, and it was clear as day. They do automated analysis for targeting ads, but don't do any cross-correlation that would be a privacy breach in the sense that any other human being finds out something they shouldn't.
    • At least now Viagra and penis enlargement ads will be distributed among those ... err... interested!
    • I'm not sure when people started trusting Oracle, MS, Sun, Apple, etc, more than Google. Every one of the previously mentioned companies have burned me with marketing schemes, mistrust, EULA's, and flat out lies... except Google. This technology shift is going to happen regardless. I'd MUCH rather have Google housing my information than Microsoft. Google has never abused my trust.

      People cry constantly about Google having too much information. They have just as much information as everyone else. They are
    • Because all it takes is for the college intern to get confused about "Indexable" and "Non-Indexable" flags...
  • awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thatshortkid (808634) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:31AM (#21020975)
    targeted ads for calcium supplements next to broken bone x-rays, valtrex next to any note with keyword "itchy" or "burns", viagra/levitra with "limp". the possibilities are endless!
  • by Perseid (660451) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:33AM (#21020995)
    ...of all the targeted ads you'll get if you have erectile dysfunction...
  • old idea (Score:4, Informative)

    by bwy (726112) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:34AM (#21021003)
    This idea is far from new. I interviewed with a small company back in 99 called e-medsoft.com that was trying to put medical records online. The idea has a lot of merit when you look at all the paper that moves from place to place in the health care industry. The company I interviewed with went belly up, because it was too hard to get people to adopt the technology. It needs to be nearly ubiquitous to add the most value. Plus, there are a lot of regulations and privacy laws in place which make it a little more difficult to effectively do business in this space.
    • You're right, this isn't new, but now you have well known established companies doing it and a fairly recent natural disaster(Katrina). While Katrina didn't cause everyone to make plans, buy emergency supplies, etc. It is still memorable enough to make people take an easier step like electronically available medical records.
      • Except when they discover the datacenter storing those records was in a basement level facility in N'awlins, right? :)
    • Re:old idea (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @02:23AM (#21021541) Homepage Journal
      Yes, but name anything on the web today that wasn't being done by some combination of archie, gopher and WAIS. It all depends, of course, on the way in which this is done. There are MANY applications now for Linux for processing EEG and EKG data, CAT scans, MRIs and the like. Will either company develop formats that interoperate with these?

      There are also packages specifically designed for indexing and sharing files. Will there be a DSpace filter supplied? Will Glimpse be able to search the metadata? Is any geographical data going to be in a format a GIS database can handle? (A person may wish to compare health information with where they were living at the time, for example. I'll assume for a moment that the data is confidential to the person concerned, at least in Europe where data privacy laws will be involved, and hopefully anonymous anywhere it's not confidential.)

      Will data be correlatable or will each data chunk be in total isolation? Correlations might be interesting to people who suspect an undiagnosed underlying condition where multiple diagnosed symptoms exist and are treated, and might be a lot more convincing to doctors than patients who say "well, I don't think this really expensive treatment plan is working too well..."

      It matters very little what people are saying they will code. Some things will prove intractable when the project specification is drawn up, when the developers try to implement it or when the managers run out of budget. Other things will evolve out of brainstorming sessions and wild drunken parties during the project. What actually ends up happening is rarely what is envisaged at the start, for all kinds of reasons. Sure, we can guess at what would be logical, but since when has a single project - Open Source, Closed Source or Hot Sauce - ever ended up being entirely - or even remotely - logical?

  • Sheldon [sheldoncomics.com] called this!
  • Ob quote! (Score:5, Funny)

    by garcia (6573) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:39AM (#21021039) Homepage
    I can't believe I'm about to quote this movie, I really never thought it would happen... From Roadhouse [imdb.com]:

    Doc: Do you always carry your medical record around with you?
    Dalton: Saves time.


    Now, if only we could have a story that I could relate the sex scene in the back room of the bar to. "But I'm on my break!"
    • Frighteningly enough, I actually used to have a file with my records, copies of my x-rays, etc in it because it was easier than having them look everything up or call various specialists because of a few past injuries.

      It got to the point where I just ended up memorizing most of it and a fair chunk of my family med history. Freaked the heck out of one doc the first time I saw her and she asked me if I had any family histories of certain things and various questions about past medical history.

      She just looked
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:44AM (#21021083)
    Why can't *I* keep my medical records on me, on my person with a password on me, on my person?

    The way I figure it is an encrypted USB drive and public key that I give my current provider.

    I would also like to fire them (and their ability to have access to my records) at whim.

    Unlike Clooney, I want *MY* data to be MINE. Not in the hands of others.

    Google with my records? I don't think so.
    • by NIckGorton (974753) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @02:08AM (#21021485)
      Excellent idea. Though if I were you, I would also consider emailing the pertinent stuff to yourself lest your drive be lost in the car wreck when you get to the ER. I have had patients in the past who said "If you can get me online I can get you my old EKG, medications list, etc" and that has been quite useful.

      I would also like to fire them (and their ability to have access to my records) at whim.
      For future records, yes. If I treat you and subsequently you fire me, you have every right that I not be able to see records of your future medical care. However, any records of your care (or records you previously have had sent to me from other providers) not only should, but must (by law) be maintained by me and thus available to me.
      Of course I might be willing to agree to remove your records from my office or record storage facility if: 1) it were no longer against the law, 2) there was no issue with FDA regulated drug abuse or diversion, and 3) by doing so you relinquish all rights in the future to sue me since your medical record is my entire documentation of my version of events should we have a disagreement in the future.
      • If I take a picture of you, it is a picture of YOU, but MY picture. The english language really fails here because you could also say it is your picture as in you are in the picture without actually owning said picture.

        Medical records are of a person, but are created by another person reflecting that persons opinions about that other person. Who owns a record, the person who wrote it or who it is about? You can say that you want your records in your hands but you are quit right that this would remove from

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by irtza (893217)
          Regulations are in place. as for ownership. The paper/film/media the records are on belong to the doctor/hospital/practice, but the data itself belongs to the patient. you can read about the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 http://www.patientprivacyrights.org/site/PageServer# [patientprivacyrights.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lahi (316099)
        The obvious solution is to consider the data as a record of the relation between the health care provider and the patient. Both have interests in preserving a copy of these data, and in ensuring that they are not tampered with. So obviously each should store a copy, signed by each party. The health care provider could optionally be allowed or required by law to store the data for a certain period and/or discard the data after a certain time.

        The question is, would it be prudent to impose a similar requiremen
    • If you had an encrypted USB stick and you become incapacitated, you wouldn't be be able to tell them what the key was. There would have to be some way for emergency personnel to access the records without help from the patient.
  • by Duncan3 (10537)
    This is great, now we can see celebrity medical records. CmdrTaco's records should pop right up!
  • Google announced today that it plans to offer online personal health records to help patients tote and store their own x-rays and other health data.

    What, are they going to put all the ones and zeros in little baggies or something?
    • by jd (1658)
      I thought it meant they were going to supply the data to the betting stands at horse races. Well, same thing really, I guess.
  • Hmmm, so who do I want to keep my medical records with, Google or Microsoft ..... Anybody has an accurate evil-o-meter handy?
    • Previously I had said that I worried about Microsoft running a repository of health data. With Google announcing a similar initiative, I am less worried.

      It's not because Microsoft is evil and Google is good. It's because there's competition, so Microsoft can't just run the whole show.

      Make no mistake --it's still a worrisome thing. No one entity should have such a large portion of our data.

      For those whose warm fuzzy feelings about Google blind them to the danger: the problem is not that Larry Page and Ser
    • No matter where I take it, it beeps like it is in the presence of the dark lord himself. No idea what causes it, was like that when I first took it out of the package.

    • by nyekulturniy (413420) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @08:07AM (#21023019)
      I'd get you an evil meter, but it might not be calibrated, anyone has a pure 1000 kiloNazi signal to check with? The Cheyney reading is off the meter...
  • The next step is to automatically analyze them. Like researchers (including myself) are doing already.
  • by dilby (725275) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @01:29AM (#21021299) Journal
    For finally finding a shark to jump.
  • by Ihlosi (895663) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @02:58AM (#21021705)
    You can have my health records when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.
  • What data? (Score:5, Informative)

    by NIckGorton (974753) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @03:29AM (#21021895)
    The one concern that I would have about this in the hands of the consumer is data suppression. For 97% of people that is of no importance, but in a small percentage its pertinent. (I am an ER doctor, so necessarily I am a bit jaded.)

    For example, I've been lied to many times by patients regarding narcotic pain medicine prescriptions. For example, I treated someone this year to whom I gave an rx for 30 vicodins. I get a letter a month later from the State Controlled Substance guys (because one physician who rx'd to this patient requested a print out of the patient's controlled substance prescription records - which triggers a letter sent to everyone who rx'd him controlled medicines in the past.) So this guy had gotten the equivalent of 30 vicodins daily over a period of a few months (from many doctors, using different pharmacies, often getting two or three rxs in one day.) This means either he is in fulminant liver failure from all the tylenol or he's selling it for fun'n'profit.

    So now, if he returns to my hospital (or any of the physicians or hospitals he shopped at) any provider who has not seen him before can pull his record their and see his real history. That's the benefit of a record that is out of the hands of the patient. Now that is meaningless for the 97% of people who are above-board. However the fact that the 3% exist do mean that any patient maintained record that providers can't add to independent of the patient's wishes will be taken with at least a bit of a grain of salt in some circumstances. Your old EKG or Chest Xray is not going to be suspect, but the report that you have only filled one rx for vicodin in the past 6 years and your 'documented allergy' to every pain medicine except for vicodin might be a bit suspect.
    • by Chapter80 (926879)
      You make a good point, but it can easily be addressed.

      A digitally signed health record, CONTROLLED by the consumer would work. If this consumer asked for a new prescription from you, you'd say "ok, let me see your record." He would release it to you, and you'd see instantly that he had zillions of prescriptions, and you wouldn't prescribe.

      Or if you were the first doc, you'd prescribe, add this event to his record and register the new digital signature with a central authority (or 2). And the record c

  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @03:45AM (#21021963)
    And here are the new targeted Google ads for various demographics:

    Gambler demographic: You seem to be having some broken kneecaps. Would you like to buy the book '12 easy tips on how to repay your 30% loans before the end of the week, guaranteed'?

    Soccer mom demographic: You seem to be having a broken hipbone. Would you like to buy the book '12 easy excuses to tell your husband when your secret lover is too rough in bed'?

    School nerd demographic: You seem to be having a broken finger. Would you like to buy the book '12 easy ways to teach your football team a lesson they'll remember for a long time'?

    Protester demographic: You seem to be having a broken arm. Would you like to buy the book '12 easy ways to taunt the cops safely in any street march'?

    Soldier demographic: You seem to be having a broken foot. Would you like to buy the book '12 easy ways to break doors in during house to house combat'?

  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:30AM (#21022827)
    I remember those three episodes by Discovery on our possible future.

    In one of the episodes, some guy was pouring old urine in his own toilet, since the toilet was equipped with built-in analyzer. The analyzer would catch he had some beer yesterday, while the doctor told him his heath condition doesn't allow alcohol.

    If the toilet detects he had beer, it'll go in his central medical record, his insurance company would see this, and he'd lose his medical insurance.

    He later fell through a window after an accident, and the blood test went to the insurance company again, and he lost his insurance, remaining to be left dying, although this had nothing to do with his health condition prior to the accident.
  • I got the correct answer on last week's poll http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=325121&cid=20943041 [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2007 @07:39AM (#21022881)
    Microsoft wants your electronic medical records. So does Google. So do dozens of startups, some dead, some alive and well. What do all these privately owned for-profit companies' plans have in common? Profit motive. What do their data formats have in common? Not a thing. So if a patient's customary healthcare provider uses, say, U_Med_Data (a fictitious company, I hope), and her employer changes insurance carriers so she has to choose a new healthcare provider who uses, say, Microsoft or Google, U_Med_Data's proprietary data formats mean the patient's records can not be transferred to the new carrier's system except on paper, which of course defeats the purpose of EMRs.

    Every large medical center has EMRs to promote in-system efficiency and communication. Their EMRs are bought from different vendors, then woven into the center's overall I.T. fabric, including billing of patients, primary and secondary insurers, prescription writing and filling, and case management. If the medical center wanted to change EMR providers, good luck, without a costly conversion. And if he patient changes to another provider, again, the records stay, or possibly get printed to send to the new provider.

    Everyone agrees EMRs are great for efficiency, accuracy, and completeness - but the promise of EMRs is only a pipe dream without standards and interoperability, not to mention iron-clad built-in privacy and security to ensure that private records stay private.
  • Dave Kellett, the artist who draws Sheldon predicted this in his "Microsoft Healthcare" series of comics last week. Here they are (the prediction's in the last one):

    http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/071010.html [sheldoncomics.com]

    http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/071011.html [sheldoncomics.com]

    http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/071012.html [sheldoncomics.com]
  • otherwise, they cannot meet HIPPA Federal law.

    which means Google just solved every backdoor and hacker hole in the universe.

    all hail King Google!

    -- or wait, if they DIDN'T fix this all, they're all going to prison.

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