Google Health: Two New Deals
April 6, 2009
Googzilla has revealed some new tie ups in its Google Health initiative. At my lecture a couple of weeks ago in Houston, a big medical center with a city wrapped around it, there was quite a bit of interest in electronic medical records. The real issue, however, was consistency. I thought privacy and security were the cat’s pajamas. I was wrong. The medical types kept circling around the issue of data management, data transformation, and moving bits from Point A to Point B with the people at Point B able to use the information.
Google announced two interesting tie ups. The first is a partnership with CVS, a retail chain. You can get the details here. The Reuters’ story provides a few details. But the big point to me was that the GOOG is thinking retail and retail pharmacies.
The second tie up is with the giant Medco Health Solutions Inc. outfit. You can read this Reuters’ story here. Same deal: some facts but not much on the way the tie up will affect customers. The news story asserts that Google has more than 100 million people who can get access to prescription data. For me, the point is that the GOOG is thinking consumers via a partnership.
Microsoft thinks the same types of thoughts for HealthVault. The appearance of the two stories is either a coincidence or part of a health push. With the Obama Administration’s support of electronic medical records, the Google may be shifting gears. If so, the company will accelerate its surround and seep strategy in an effort to capture the market sector.
Can Google do this? Right now I think it is a wide open sector. Google’s chances are neither better nor worse than the other companies fighting for a handhold.
Stephen Arnold, April 6, 2009