How Google+ Could Transform Healthcare & Medicine


Xconomy National — 

This post was co-authored by Rich Whalley, an associate at CBT Advisors.

What could Google do if it had access to everyone’s health data?

You’re probably already thinking a few things:

1. There’s no way I’m giving Google my personal health data.

2. Didn’t Google already try to do this with Google Health?

3. Won’t this take the “don’t” out of Google’s “don’t be evil” motto?

But bear with us. Imagine a healthcare system 10 years in the future that would make Obama proud.

I go to the doctor and find out that I’m at risk for developing type II diabetes and need to craft an effective set of measures to minimize my risk. I find out that there are multiple recommended approaches, including preventative medicines. We log in to my Google+ health data page and go through the extensive record of my diet, lifestyle, and exercise data, as well as my genome. From this, we determine how my response is likely to compare to that of the average person at risk for diabetes.

Even if Obamacare is ultimately upheld, it’s hard to imagine that the government alone is capable of unifying and analyzing all this data through the implementation of electronic health records. A better solution may come from the private sector, where all the necessary tools are already developed. As we know from Wikipedia, the most comprehensive, cost-effective data sets often come from user-generated data.

In comparison to Wikipedia, and Google+, Google Health was never positioned to gain a large enough user base. Google Health also lacked the right social tools to become popular enough to generate anything like “big data.” Google+, by contrast, will likely gain mass adoption because of the Gmail user-base and Google’s recent moves in the smart phone space. Google’s core strengths—aggregate data analytics, Web app and smartphone integration—give it the inside track to become the ultimate user-generated health resource.

The right components for the ultimate user-generated health resource.

But how to proceed? Letting it grow organically might ultimately lead to a flop the way it did with Google Health. Instead, we have a few suggestions to take on and neutralize the privacy issue and grow via a clever acquisition. That way, Google can realize its full potential as a neutral data gatherer and let its users benefit from the analysis

1. Take the “evil” out of data acquisition

Google has been in trouble in the past with privacy, and some view Google as an evil entity trying to take over the world by gaining and analyzing information on its users. Why would anyone want to give Google access to personal health details? There will always be … Next Page »

Single PageCurrently on Page: 1 2 3

Steve Dickman is a former venture capitalist and the CEO of boutique consulting firm CBT Advisors as well as the author of the blog Boston Biotech Watch. Follow @

Trending on Xconomy

By posting a comment, you agree to our terms and conditions.

14 responses to “How Google+ Could Transform Healthcare & Medicine”

  1. dondiba says:

    i’am an md, and i think the time of a web based patient centered medicine has to come :
    already, when a new epidemic flu begins, the number of google requests about ‘flu’ increase in the area. so than google is first informed of it -before the CDC-
    if a standardised personnal medical file is available for every one, readable by the chosen physician, an accurately documented, with possibility of performing statistical analysis, we will have a new, more actual, definition of diseases, and we’ll be able to assess soon the best treatments, strategies…

  2. Jim says:

    I really don’t think you can grasp the complexity and volume of applications used in healthcare. Google+ could help with some analysis but what you suggest is being done already.

  3. beatlbabe says:

    where is your +1 button so i can share this.

  4. Ross says:

    Also, Facebook just updated to have selective sharing.

  5. rose says:

    HEALING SPELL/ ([email protected] ). DR ukpoyan is the only
    Dr who could ever get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing spell, I have
    tried almost everything but I could’nt find any solution on my disease,
    despite all these happening to me, I always spend a lot to buy a HIV
    drugs from hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve,
    until one day I was just browsing on the internet when I come across a
    great post of! Michelle! who truly said that she was been diagnose with
    HIV and was healed that very week through the help of these great
    powerful healing spell doctor, sometime I really wonder why people
    called him Papa ukpoyan, I never knew it was all because of the great
    and perfect work that he has been doing that is causing all this. so I
    quickly contacted him, and he ask me some few questions and he said a
    thing I will never forget that anyone who contacted him is! always
    getting his or her healing in just 6 hours after doing all he ask you,
    so I was amazed all the time I heard that from him, so I did all things
    only to see that at the very day which he said I will be healed, all the
    strength that has left me before rush back and I becomes very strong
    and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so I
    will to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor
    said I am HIV negative, I am very amazed and happy about the healing Dr
    ukpoyan gave to me from the ancient part of Africa, you can email him
    now for your own healing too at: (EMAIL HIM ON:
    [email protected] THANKS