Google launched there long awaited Google Health product a couple of days ago and I have been filling in information to see what it's all about.
Late last year Microsoft launched there rival product HealthVault, this is a service I tried to sign up to but as I am in the UK it wouldn't let me. Google doesn't seem to have any problems with my location, after visiting the Google Health site I signed in with my existing Google account there was a standard terms and conditions box to agree to and my health profile was created for me and ready to be populated with data. The service can import records from a number of medical services, several hospitals, lab testing places and pharmacies, all of which were American which meant I had to enter my data manually.
The service is primarily aimed at the American market, the height and weight options are all in imperial and there are no global localisation options, this is a little annoying but its much better than preventing access entirely.
The system allows you to enter different medications you are taking or have taken along with allergies and conditions and any tests or procedures you have had. Data entry is by way of a free text box, as you start typing the system will display a list for you to choose from if you select one you can then easily view further information about the condition, procedure or medication but it will let you enter whatever you like. Once the record has been created you can add details such as dates or for medications times and quantities. I have an awful memory for this kind of information so I was only able to enter current information the rest I will get from my GP and enter later, once this is done it should be a useful reference. When completed I will be able to look back and see what vaccinations I have had and when as well as pull up detailed information on any of the conditions or medications I have entered.
In the UK the government and health service are rolling out a computerised system for medical records, all your details will be accessible anywhere using the NHS's CRS (Care Record Service); at the moment this is only in use in some locations but will be rolled out to the rest of the country. The CRS also allows patient access through a website called HealthSpace although only to those patients in the trial areas. From reading the information they provide when it is complete you will only be able to view a basic summary so it doesn't seem like it will be a replacement for the Google or Microsoft service.