The long-awaited announcement of search giant Google's entry into the personal health record arena came with the disclosure that Google will partner with the Cleveland Clinic on a private launch of a new PHR product.
The Cleveland Clinic is already a veteran in the PHR business, claiming it has more than 100,000 patients using its eCleveland Clinic MyChart system, a version of the PHR offering by clinical information technology systems vendor Epic Systems Corp.
The pilot with Google will be by invitation-only to a group of between 1,500 and 10,000 MyChart users, according to a news statement by the Cleveland Clinic. "It will test secure exchange of patient medical record data such as prescriptions, conditions and allergies between their Cleveland Clinic PHR to a secure Google profile in a live, clinical delivery setting," the statement said. The goal "is to give patients the ability to interact with multiple physicians, healthcare service providers and pharmacies."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Last month, Google rival Microsoft Corp., and Mayo Clinic Health Solutions announced plans to jointly develop a PHR based on the HealthVault PHR platform Microsoft launched in October 2007.
The announcement comes on the heels of the release by the World Privacy Forum of two reports on PHRs, warning that PHRs with advertisement-driven business plans, even if offered by organizations covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, can present significant privacy risks to patients.