Sharing Health Records Just Got Easier

March 5, 2009

Online medical records aren't very useful if no one can access them.

If you or your patients use Google Health to store important medical information, one drawback that's been painful is the inability to share those records with loved ones. Today, that changed.

Online medical records aren't very useful if no one can access them. They can easily be shared with the appropriate network of healthcare providers, but family members and other loved ones are often left without access and in the dark. This could lead to a serious problem in the case of an emergency. Medical records are extremely private documents and should only be shared with the most trusted people. Google Health is making that possible.

Sameer Samat, Director, Product Management for Google Health, said, "Google Health has addressed this issue with the release of a new 'Share this profile' feature enabling Google Health users to invite others they trust (whether it's a family member, a trusted care network provider, friends, and/or a doctor) to view their medical records and personal health information."

Enabling the feature is pretty simple. Google Health users need to log into their accounts. They'll see a new button that reads "Share this profile." Once they click on that, they will need to enter the email address of the person or people they'd like to grant access to. Google sends that person a link, which will be the only way for that person to access the health information. If the e-mail is forwarded to another email address, the link won't work. Users can customize exactly which portions of their health information is shared with whom. For example, if all they'd like to share is a list of their current medications, they can do so.

Google has also created an option to print out portions of users' medical records in the event that the user's family or loved ones aren't online.

Along with this new medical record sharing feature, Google has enabled a graphing feature that lets users track their health over time. For example, if you have high blood pressure, you can enter in readings and see how your blood pressure looks in a graph.

Google Health is free.