In a test of a long-anticipated medical-records program, Google will offer up to 10,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic the chance to create an online medical profile, making it easier for them to share information with doctors or pharmacies, the Wall Street Journal reports today. In the pilot program, patients will be able to access data in the clinic's records system, such as prescriptions, conditions, and allergies, and control what goes into the profile.
"From a patient perspective, they no longer have to remember all that information, write it down on a piece of paper and keep it with them," says a Cleveland spokesman. Similar efforts are under way; Microsoft’s venture, HealthVault, has been online 5 months. Critics worry posting the records online will raise privacy and security concerns, even though the information will be password protected.