Google has announced that it is going to shut down Google Health, a service that Google intended would “give people access to their personal health and wellness information.” The original idea behind Google Health was to translate Google’s consumer-centric approach to data and apply it to healthcare and wellness in a way that could impact the day-to-day experience of Google users.
Unfortunately, Google Health didn’t take off like Google anticipated. There was adoption among certain groups of users, like those who were especially tech-savvy and some fitness and wellness enthusiasts. More widespread adoption did not occur, and so Google will cease to operate Google Health after January 1, 2012. At the same time, Microsoft’s HealthVault, its version of a similar service, is flourishing. In fact, Microsoft began supporting HealthVault on mobile devices, which can provide users access to stored medical information on-the-go. You can even sign in to HealthVault with Facebook, which helps HealthVault populate the signup form with your name, birthdate, etc. (Signing in with Facebook doesn’t mean HealthVault will post your health information to your Facebook wall.) Microsoft also recently added the ability for users to upload and downloaded other health information and data, such as medical images, x-rays, and ultrasounds.
As Microsoft’s HealthVault is thriving and Google Health is dying, now may be a good time to consider migrating your Google Health data to Microsoft HealthVault. There is not currently a way to directly transfer data between Google Health and Microsoft’s HealthVault, but you can easily re-sync your devices to Microsoft’s HealthVault. You can also download your information from Google Health from this site and upload it to Microsoft’s HealthVault. In the coming weeks Google will be adding the ability to directly transfer your health data to other services that support the Direct Project protocol. And don’t worry — while Google Health is ending on January 1, 2012, Google will support the download of your health data until 2013.