Google to Tackle the Electronic Personal Health Record Industry with a Patient-Centric Focus; Monetization Opportunities Abound

The Cleveland Clinic will facilitate Google’s potential domination of the electronic personal health record (PHR) space. Google chose the Clinic because they offer 100,000 patients the tools to manage their medical records online and coordinate care with doctors using a PHR suite called eCleveland Clinic MyChart. An invitation will be extended to 1,500 – 10,000 of these users.

The trial will validate the secure exchange of patient medical record data including prescriptions, conditions and allergies between the Cleveland Clinic PHR to a secure Google profile in a live clinical delivery setting.

The goal is to give patients the ability to interact with multiple physicians, healthcare service providers and pharmacies.

“Patients are more proactively managing their own healthcare information,” said C. Martin Harris, Chief Information Officer, Cleveland Clinic. “This collaboration is intended to help Google test features and services that will ultimately allow all Americans (as patients) to direct the exchange of their medical information between their various providers without compromising their privacy.”


Anyone who has spent anytime on the Internet (or sorting through spam in their email inbox) should have a sense of how profitable medicine is on the internet.

Based on some cursory keyword research, and my rough calculations, Google is earning $20 million in annual revenues from the keyword ‘viagra’ alone. ‘Ambien’ costs $2.43 – $3.65 per click; local queries like ‘brooklyn dentist’ cost $3.71 – $4.98 per click.

If Google delivers on their promise of a web portal with 24/7 access to healthcare information – and they’re certainly well positioned to, with their global web-based architecture and a focus on security – the upside could be tremendous.

Google will have the ability to offer a free service supported by advertisers. Think GMAIL for medicine – with ads for doctors, pharmacies, drugs, and devices peppered beside your personal health records and delivered using the same contextual advertising Google is known for.

They’ve already got the AdWords advertisers – now Google is garnering a highly targeted and trusted health record framework to serve advertisements.

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