Today was different, however. First up, Clinical Cases and Images - Blog aggregated two separate postings that appear to depict not only a functioning prototype of Google Health, but also one of the service's planning sessions/tent revivals being conducted by none other than Adam Bosworth himself.
Source: Philipp Lenssen, a Creative Commons license
(click for full-sized image)
(click for full-sized image)
Then, this story from The New York Times came across my company's daily news email :
Dr. Google and Dr. MicrosoftNote the two paragraphs in bold.
The New York Times
August 14, 2007
The two leading candidates for Web supremacy, Google and Microsoft, are working up their plans to improve the nation’s health care.
By combining better Internet search tools, the vast resources of the Web and online personal health records, both companies are betting they can enable people to make smarter choices about their health habits and medical care.
“What’s behind this is the mass consumerization of health information,” said Dr. David J. Brailer, the former health information technology coordinator in the Bush administration, who now heads a firm that invests in health ventures.
It is too soon to know whether either Google or Microsoft will make real headway. Health care, experts note, is a field where policy, regulation and entrenched interests tend to slow the pace of change, and technology companies have a history of losing patience.
And for most people, typing an ailment into a Web search engine is very different from entrusting a corporate titan with personal information about their health.
Google and Microsoft recognize the obstacles, and they concede that changing health care will take time. But the companies see the potential in attracting a large audience for health-related advertising and services. And both companies bring formidable advantages to the consumer market for such technology.
Microsoft’s software animates more than 90 percent of all personal computers, while Google is the default starting point for most health searches. And people are increasingly turning to their computers and the Web for health information and advice. A Harris poll, published last month, found that 52 percent of adults sometimes or frequently go to the Web for health information, up from 29 percent in 2001.
If the efforts of the two big companies gain momentum over time, that promises to accelerate a shift in power to consumers in health care, just as Internet technology has done in other industries...
People aren't just looking for a means to store and access their healthcare records "in the cloud" - they're also looking for information relevant to their personal health and wellness situation.
In fact, given the nature of the survey, it would appear that of the two, the latter is the more important topic to the average Internet user. And I'm not the only one who thinks so, as the FAQ at the new "online health community," OrganizedWisdom, attests. There's a human element to healthcare - and, by extension - ehealth that neither Google nor Microsoft are particularly well known for.
Which leads me to ask: Where is the ehealth entry from Yahoo!?