Would you like to see Dr. Google or Dr. Microsoft for your personal health records?

According to the New York Times:

Microsoft’s software powers more than 90 percent of all personal computers, while Google is the default starting point for most health searches. People are increasingly turning to the Web for health information and advice. A Harris poll found that 52 percent of adults go to the Web for health information, up from 29 percent in 2001.

"Today, only about 20 percent of the nation’s patient population have computerized records. Under federal law, people can request and receive their personal health data within 90 days. But the process is complicated, and the replies typically come on paper, as photocopies or faxes."

Adam Bosworth talks about GoogleHealth. Image source: AlphachimpStudio, a Creative Commons license.

More or less, the current equation is as follows:

Microsoft = personal computer
Google = Internet

Both Google and Microsoft are reportedly preparing products aiming at the potentially huge market of personal health records.

A screenshot of Google Health. Image source: Philipp Lenssen, a Creative Commons license.

Microsoft’s offering is scheduled to be announced this fall, while Google’s will probably be introduced next year. The launch of new software products frequently faces multiple delays and missed deadlines -- Windows Vista is a good example. Most likely, "Dr. Google" or "Dr. Microsoft" will not be available to see you before 2008-2009.

Update 10/06/2007:
Microsoft launches an online personal health record portal called HealthVault.com.

Dr. Google and Dr. Microsoft. NYTimes.
Google Health Prototype. Google Operating System.
First Google Health Screenshots. Philipp Lenssen.
Who's your patients' best friend? Google!
Google Finds Correct Diagnosis in 58 % of Cases Published in NEJM
Google, M.D. In Action
Google, M.D. In Action - Part II
"Google, M.D." at the Clinic
Image source: Doctors Using Google by Philipp Lenssen, used with permission.

Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health - The 'Coke and Pepsi' of Online Health (PHR). ReadWriteWeb, 10/2008.
Google now wants to diagnose your disease, offers differential diagnosis based on 10 sites and Wikipedia http://goo.gl/SD1qM


  1. Do you think it will revolutionize medicine, because I don't...

  2. Just wanted to mention our patient activist and physician oriented Health Search startup "CureHunter". One of our main design goals is to bring patients and physicians closer to the research so they can make the most educated decisions possible and truly begin to practice Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) in real-time.

    ...without giving anyone your medical records!

    Please check it out if you get the chance.