MainStreet Explains: Google Health Fact and Fiction

Google Health, Google's new way to organize medical information promises to be an indispensible resource for consumers. But will its goldmine of patient data end up in the hands of drug companies, too?
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Internet powerhouse Google (GOOG) - Get Report launched the Beta test of its newest venture, Google Health on May 20. The new addition to the Google universe allows users to store and manage all of their health information in one place for free. Just like personal finance sites such as Geezeo.com , (in which MainStreet's parent company, TheStreet.com, is an investor) which allows people to track all of their finances in one place, Google Health will do the same with medical records.

Not only does Google Health organize your records in one place, it also keeps them up to date, allows for patients to research treatments, illnesses and

second opinions

, provides a database to search for doctors and hospitals, and enables your doctors (and other medical professionals) to view these records. It does not, however, include information about

health insurance or providers

.

Like personal financial information, medical data are highly sensitive for many people and security is important. Google Health's privacy policy allows users to view only their own records and allows users the ability to determine who can, and cannot, access the records. Interested?

Check out MainStreet's guide to Google Health fact and fiction

and learn all you need to know about Google Health.