Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Will Google and Microsoft resell my Health Data

A question that seems to be bubbling around on the Internet about the Personal Health Record platforms from Microsoft and Google is

"Will Microsoft or Google sell my Personal Health Data?"

The reality is that Microsoft or Google do not need to sell our personal health data. Microsoft's push in to health is a way to push the Windows monopoly. Adopting HealthVault is going to lead to hospitals, practices and software developers acquiring servers and software to connect in to the ecosystem that is being constructed. As devices become inter-connected we will probably also see the "Works with HealthVault" licensing program take off.

From the Google perspective a revenue model may be different. We will certainly see some linkage back to their Search and AdWords platforms. Google Health helps to keep eyeballs focused towards Google properties. On the developer side Google could easily provide open access to health data through APIs that preserve the consumer-managed privacy controls and generate revenue by throttling the API. They might for example allow developers to access thousands of API calls per day, week or month but require licensing to tap in to higher volume feeds. It is the developers that then create the business models to profit from these data feeds, but all the while the consumer continues to control what data they are releasing to which applications and services.

1 comment:

  1. Personally, as a health services researcher, I HOPE that Google and Microsoft WILL sell the data, not for marketing purposes but for researchers. There are thousands of really talented health services or outcomes researchers who would love to have (privacy-protected, HIPPA compliant) access to this sort of data so that they can really start to study the individual nuances of disease and find better ways to treat patients and make them well.

    It's not always about the almighty dollar.