Read all about it:
"CVS/pharmacy customers the ability to securely download their prescription and medication histories to their Google Health Account. Consumers filling prescriptions at CVS/pharmacy stores can now add their medication history to their online medical record directly from CVS.com."
Note: CVS has been a Google Health partner for just under a year (May 2008).
Why you should care:
1. Content! Coherence! Commerce! Health 3.0!!! (#sarcasm)
2. This deal pushes responsibility for updating Google Health records right over to the patient end of the balance sheet. Consumer responsibility! Huzzah!
Let's take a quick look at what news outlets (and early blogs) are saying about the deal:
Theme: Google Health needs work, lots of it (as does the space in general) but this integration = c00l
"Google Health, the SaaS approach to Health Care records by Google Inc., received a boost today with the addition of CVS pharmacy to the list of pharmacies they support. I am a great sucker of online health records and, even though I was not greatly impressed, I had a neutral opinion about Google Health in its early stages. In fact, Zoli has covered both Google Health and Microsoft’s HealthVault here at Cloud Avenue and he was not at all impressed with them...Like Zoli, I am also unimpressed with the progress on the Health 2.0 front. Both Microsoft and Google are relatively quiet about their plans. But today’s announcement by Google offers some hope that we will eventually get there. The integration with CVS allows more than 100 million people in US to access their records through Google Health by importing your data from the pharmacy and also in managing the prescriptions through it. Though it is not a big leap, it is a solid tiny step towards Health 2.0 and towards helping to lower the health care costs."
Theme: Consumer-facing EHRs = w00t! If you use 'retail' or 'quick' clinic branded by CVS (MinuteClinic), you can export records to your PHR at Goog Health
"Patients who receive treatment at MinuteClinic, the retail-based health clinic subsidiary of CVS Caremark, can also securely import their visit summaries into their Google Health Accounts."
Theme: Privacy, security = sticky. CVS requiring separate site enabling, login/verification
"In order to maintain patient privacy, the consumer making the request for information will need to be authenticated on the cvs.com Web site before any data is shared with Google Health."
Theme: Power to the patients....wonder if that last sentence will come back to bite Goog at some point if/when they try to monetize our data, or just use internally for semantic search/NLP R&D?
"Typically, Google has pushed for the democratization of such medical records, in keeping with its “open source” philosophy in many other areas, such as public domain book, painting and photograph publishing. "Google Health puts you in charge of your health information,” the company says on its web site, adding that “you always control how it’s used.”"
Now, I'm a CVS customer (no current Rxs), but I'm not a Google Health PHR user. Wonder if this capability is available for any other EHR/PHR, or if this'll be an other walled garden with 2 hedgerows...