The launch of Google Health in the spring of 2008 has been of great help to people in easily accessing and controlling their health data online. However, users had reported that they needed help in coordinating their personal care and also the care of their loved ones. They wanted the possible option to share their personal health data and medical records with their family, friends or doctor.
To fulfill this need, Google Health has introduced the “Share this profile” feature. This novel feature will permit Google Health users to send invitations to their desired individual to have access to their private health data and medical records.
To make use of this feature, users have to log into Google Health and click on “Share this Profile.” They have to then type in the email address of the desired person with whom they wish to share their profile. That particular person will then receive an email from the website, providing them with the profile link. This will enable that particular individual to access the personal data and medical records of the user.
Google Health has gone a step forward in order to ensure the safety of their user’s private information. They have programmed it in such a way that:
1. The invited individual will be able to access the user’s profile only through the email address, where the link was mailed. Link won’t be accessible if it has been forwarded ahead.
2. The user can discontinue sharing their private data with a particular person at any time. To ensure safety, the shared profile link expires after one month.
3. The user will be able to view the people who have an access to their profile.
4. The view of people accessing the user’s profile is restricted to only the link that they have been provided. They won’t be able to access any other part of the profile that has not been shared with them.
5. The viewer will only be able to view the data; they won’t be able to edit any of the information provided in the profile.
The friends and doctors who are not yet online can share the hard copy of the user’s information through Google Health’s new printing feature. A wallet format is also available that lists out the user’s essential information like allergies, medications, etc. This is not all; they have even launched a novel graphing feature which enables people to visualize their medical test information. Users can enter their monthly lab tests and monitor the change in their results over time.