Google Discontinues Google Health while Microsoft Lists HealthVault as a Medical Device

By Daniel R. Matlis

Last week, Google announced that it will discontinue its Google Health service citing lack of adoption and broad impact.

According to Google’s statement: “When we launched Google Health, our goal was to create a service that would give people access to their personal health and wellness information. We wanted to translate our successful consumer-centered approach from other domains to healthcare and have a real impact on the day-to-day health experiences of millions of our users.

Now, with a few years of experience, we’ve observed that Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would. There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven’t found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people. That’s why we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the Google Health service…

In the end, while we weren’t able to create the impact we wanted with Google Health, we hope it has raised the visibility of the role of the empowered consumer in their own care. We continue to be strong believers in the role information plays in healthcare and in improving the way people manage their health, and we’re always working to improve our search quality for the millions of users who come to Google every day to get answers to their health and wellness queries.”

For its part, Microsoft has recently registered with FDA as a Medical Device Manufacturer and listed HealthVault as a Class 1 Medical Device.

It is worth noting that Microsoft’s official correspondent with the Agency is Dr. Donna-Bea Tillman, Director of Regulations and Policy, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. Dr. Tillman is the former Director of the Office of Device Evaluation at FDA.

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