Google Health’s Pending Demise Highlights PHR Challenges for Clinical Pathology Laboratories

Google Health is an electronic health record system that terminates on January 1, 2012.

It is notable that Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), on January 1, 2012, will shut down Google Health, its patient health record (PHR) platform. That announcement was made in June, so many pathologists and clinical laboratory managers may not realize that Google is exiting the PHR market.

On Google’s official blog, company officials stated their intention was “to retire two products that didn’t catch on the way we would have hoped, but did serve as influential models.”. Along with Google Health, the other product about to be discontinued is Google PowerMeter, a free energy monitoring platform, designed to help consumers cut energy usage and costs. Users can continue to download data stored on Google Health through January 1, 2013.

Growth in Users of Google Health Did Not Meet Company’s Expectations

The decision to discontinue its Google Health comes barely three years after the company launched the service. It hoped that Google Health would help healthcare consumers to make smarter choices. In May of last year Dark Daily reported that the number of Americans using PHRs doubled between 2008 and the end of 2009. News coverage of the Google Health story confirms that PHR use has increased within a narrow market segment of tech-savvy patients and providers, as well as with the growing numbers of consumers interested in fitness and wellness. But the number of Google Health users fell far short of the millions of PHR users that Google projected would sign up and use the service.