Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Google Health, give me Crowd Health

So Google Health was just announced with great fanfare, and it seems everyone is racing into this business. Which is exciting. And daunting.

After entering the site, I half expected my life story to already be there. It wasn't, thankfully. But I can choose to import my records and choose who to share them with. And, theoretically, regain some control back from the medical establishment which seems so powerful these days.

A more liquid exchange of information between patient and establishment, governed by the patient, is a very enticing idea. But it's not what I ultimately want. I want to leverage the experiences of patients across the globe. I want Crowd Health.

Imagine if I could decide not only what to share with my health care providers, but what to share anonymously with the population at large? Imagine that such an opt-in tool was used by many people every day. Discoveries of people like you across the nation would be available immediately, when they might takes years to reach, or never reach you through your doctor.

Or perhaps that is too radical, since privacy is such a core concern for medical records. But how about integration with a tool like Geni, where I could share aspects of my medical records with my extended family. When a doctor asks me, "do you have cancer in the family?" I never know how accurate my answer is, since my family tends to keep these things private. Let alone more common things, like high blood pressure or cholesterol.

Ultimately web health records could provide consumers with more complete, more up-to-date, more trustworthy data to make decisions. Instead of pharmaceutical companies telling me what medications work best, my peers could, and I could analyze their data that proves it. Instead of genealogical guesswork I could make my personal health decisions based on facts. Now, that starts to get interesting. Google, please do no Evil, I see real potential here...


  1. Looks like someone has the crowdhealth.com domain, of course. Looks like a drupal site is being constructed. Perhaps your wish may be coming online soon.

  2. Interesting... but I challenge you to find any crowd* domain these days :)