The parade of healthcare organizations lined up behind one or the other of the two battling information technology giants, Microsoft Corp. and Google, in the personal health-record arena just added a Blues plan. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts announced it is partnering with Google Health.
According to a news release today, the Boston-based payer claims that it is the first insurance company to sign an agreement to integrate with the Google Health platform. When the link is done, Blues plan members will be able to import their claims data into their Google Health profiles. That link should be completed and ready for members to use sometime this fall, according to Susan Leahy, spokeswoman at the health plan.
Google, Mountain View, Calif., has already found a major Boston provider, 585-bed Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, to use its service, which it launched in May. Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., launched HealthVault in October 2007. Leahy said the Blues went with Google over Microsoft because Google was the first one to approach us. But that doesnt necessarily mean it will remain an exclusive relationship. We want to get some experience with Google and then look to other providers, she said. (For a longer version of this story, please click here.) -- by Joseph Conn