Changing doctors isn't always a smooth experience. On top of all the normal stress of dealing with unfamiliar people, you also have to find a way to get your medical information from your previous doctor to your new one. That usually means you have to rely on other people and hope that they respond. Transferring your medical data is important because the more information your doctor has about your medical history, the more effectively he or she will be able to diagnose and treat you when you need it.
Google's solution to this issue is to create an electronic, centralized location for your medical files called Google Health. Your doctors would transfer your files to Google's databases. Instead of having to track down the physical location of a paper file, your doctor would be able to log in to a computer and pull up your entire medical history. You don't have to worry about remembering which doctor has your file.
But some people think Google's approach creates a serious problem. What if someone were to compromise Google's security systems and access that data? Medical information is, by its very nature, personal. The potential for abuse of this information worries some people. Others don't like the idea of a third party having access to all their medical information, even if it is secure from hackers.
Google stresses that its databases are very secure and that patient privacy is a primary concern. Google Health's purpose is to put patients in control of their own medical information. It's supposed to give them the tools they need to stay informed about health issues. It's up to the individual to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks.
That wraps up our look at ten Google products. If the past is any indication, we'll see many more Google applications and services in the future. As long as the world has disorganized information, Google's job isn't done.
To learn more about Google and related topics, search through our links below.
More Great Links
- Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. "Top 100 Tools: iGoogle." (July 23, 2008) http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/Top100Tools/igoogle.html
- Charman, Suw. "FOWA 07: Jonathan Rochelle - How We Built Google Docs & Spreadsheets." Corante. February 21, 2007. (July 21, 2008) http://strange.corante.com/archives/2007/02/21/fowa_07_jonathan_rochelle_ how_we_built_google_docs_spreadsheets.php
- Cheng, Jacqui. "Google Health beta launches with security issues looming." Ars Technica. May 19, 2008. (July 21, 2008)http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080519-google-health-beta-launches-with-security-issues-looming.html
- deCarta. (July 23, 2008) http://www.decarta.com/
- Dekeyser, Stijn and Watson, Richard. "Extending Google Docs to Collaborate on Research Papers." The University of Southern Queensland, Australia.
- Dornfest, Rael. "Google Your Desktop." O'Reilly. Oct. 14, 2004. (July 22, 2008) http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/network/2004/10/14/google_desktop.html
- Fischell, Jessica. "Street View a little too close for comfort?" The Stanford Daily. June 7, 2007. (July 23, 2008) http://daily.stanford.edu/article/2007/6/7/streetViewALittleTooCloseForComfort
- Google. "Calendar Gadgets and Reference Guide." Google Code. (July 21, 2008) http://code.google.com/apis/calendar/calendar_gadgets.html
- Google Checkout. (July 22, 2008) http://checkout.google.com/
- Google Code. "iGoogle Developer Home." (July 23, 2008) http://code.google.com/apis/igoogle/
- Google. "Google Calendar Overview." (July 22, 2008) http://www.google.com/googlecalendar/overview.html
- Google. "Google Checkout Opens for Business." (July 23, 2008) http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/checkout.html
- Google. "Google Desktop Features." (July 22, 2008) http://desktop.google.com/features.html
- Google. "Google Gets the Message, Launches Gmail." April 1, 2004. (July 21, 2008) http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/gmail.html
- Google. "Google Code of Conduct." (July 21, 2008) http://investor.google.com/conduct.html
- Google. "Google Labs." (July 21, 2008) http://labs.google.com/
- Google SketchUp. (July 23, 2008) http://sketchup.google.com/
- Google Talk. (July 23, 2008) http://www.google.com/talk/
- Hart, Kim. "Congress Steps Up Questions On Google, Yahoo Ad Alliance." The Washington Post. July 16, 2008. (July 22, 2008) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/15/AR2008071502574.html
- Jaiku. (July 22, 2008) http://jaiku.com/
- Keyhole. (July 23, 2008) http://www.keyhole.com/index.html
- Lohr, Steve. "Google Offers Personal Health Records on the Web." The New York Times. May 20, 2008. (July 22, 2008)http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/20/technology/20google.html
- NAVTEQ. (July 23, 2008)http://www.navteq.com/
- Rochelle, Jonathan and Kotlyar, Leon. Personal interview conducted April 25, 2008.
- Schultzberg, Adena. "The Technology Behind Google Maps." Directions Magazine. Feb. 19, 2005. (July 23, 2008) http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=760
- Shankland, Stephen. "Google begins blurring faces in Street View." CNET. May 13, 2008. (July 23, 2008) http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9943140-7.html
- Van Couvering, David. "Google Calendar Offline Talk and Demo." Java.net. Oct 5, 2006. (July 21, 2008) http://weblogs.java.net/blog/davidvc/archive/2006/10/google_calendar.html
- Wenzel, Elsa. "Google Checkout." CNET. June 29, 2006. (July 22, 2008) http://reviews.cnet.com/online-software-services/google-checkout/4505-9239_7-31962791.html
Google launched on Sept. 4, 1998. HowStuffWorks looks at how it's evolved from a two-man enterprise into a multibillion-dollar corporation.