Google, Cleveland Clinic partner for EHR pilot program

Check it out folks, the Cleveland Clinic is partnering with Google to launch a pilot program that will use Google’s new services to provide patients with greater control and access to medical records.

The pilot will test the secure exchange of patients’ medical record data, including prescriptions, conditions and allergies, between the clinic’s PHR and a secure Google profile in a live clinical delivery setting. The experience and lessons learned from design and use of the Cleveland Clinic PHR will hopefully help Google test facilities that will eventually allow all American patients to control who sees their medical information among various health service providers, without breaching their privacy.

Interestingly, by teaming up with the Google platform, the Cleveland Clinic is pioneering a ‘cost free’ solution for nationwide access to electronic medical records to both providers and users.

The joint system will have three main features:

  • National access: a “working interoperability model” will drive a more efficient and effective healthcare information system by moving records from a “closed” model to one that is “open and connected”
  • Consumer empowerment: the secure, patient-centred, consumer-driven tool will give each patient more control over his or her medical care, without compromising privacy
  • 24/7 Access and portability: patients will be able to access their records at any time, thus increasing the opportunity for them to “actively engage in their health care”

And to quote Dr Delos M “Toby” Cosgrove (President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Clinic and member of the Google Health Advisory Council) “The partnership with Google is an example of true innovation in health care which brings value to patients and providers.” – I seriously second that.

With a cost free solution that is web deploy-able and easy to use, I think this will pose a great challenge to Microsoft Healthvault but the main question is, regardless either its Microsoft’s or Google’s offerings, what are the policies pertaining to data privacy? Are they covered by HIPPA act?

Such web portals PHRs do not own the data as user have the power to choose what to put into the repository, as such, there are no HIPAA requirements whereas medical institutions are required to abide by HIPAA requirements. So while there are privacy policies, it is subjected to changes by the companies that own these web portals.

Interesting to see how this will affect legislation and privacy acts in the future.

More details can be found in the official Google Blog


  1. Adam Chee says:

    Well it seems I’m not the only one who thinks privacy is going to be an isssue in this context.

    Read this article – “Google, Cleveland Clinic EHR plan raises privacy concerns” at

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