February 28, 2008

Google Health (and Marissa Mayer)

Marissa Mayer who, besides being one of the early Google employees and now VP of Search & User Products, released a first look at Google Health on the official Google blog today. Its got some rudimentary screen shots that, coupled with Marissa's description of the service, tells us a little about it.

(More on the curiosity generating, high profile Marissa Mayer in GoooGirl from San Francisco magazine).

Basically its a way for users to manage their own health records and history. Based on the menu selections on one screenshot, Google Health provides for a way for you to track your medical conditions, prescriptions, medications, allergies, procedures, test results and immunizations.

You can import medical health records from participating health professionals and organizations. This is where Google will need to set up agreements with health care providers. But given their clout, there is not a daunting task.

There are several things that are neat about this.

  1. The service seems to be coming at a time where satisfaction with health care in North America is reaching new lows. And since health is a highly private matter, most users will want to be in control of their records themselves. Besides, lets face it, with doctors specializing and the only good doctors around being specialists, the best doctor to piece your health together is you.

  2. The service will address the fastest growing age segment in the US, which is senior citizens. Most people in the 50+ age group tend to be value shoppers but given value, which this service would provide, they are willing to spend money.

  3. The potential for advertising and cross-selling is huge and allows Google to deliver targeted advertising in a special market segments like pharmaceuticals and medical services.