Mean what you say, say what you mean
February 29, 2008
The Google Health Announcement has a few yellow (just before red) flags for me. is using language that sounds open, but it isn’t. This is the most recent example of this sort of language manipulation and it needs to be clarified.
From the announcement about Google Health:
Under a heading named ‘Portability’,
“Our Internet presence ultimately means that through Google Health, you will be able to have access and control over your health data from anywhere. Through the Cleveland Clinic pilot, we have already found great use-cases in which, for example, people spend 6 months of the year in Ohio, and 6 months of the year in Florida or Arizona, and will now be able to move their health data between their various health providers seamlessly and with total control. Previously, this would have required carrying paper records back and forth.”
It seems to me that Marissa is using the word ‘Portability’ to invoke the concept of Data Portability.
Data Portability is not about access to your data from any Internet connected device. Rather, Data Portability is about using established best practices so that users can bring their data with them and, more importantly, share or export that data back out.
Her post does not explicitly deal with the question of best-practice data interchange between various health record systems – only that their platform strategy will allow you to connect to (some?) services and tools. Will these connections be proprietary and lock us into a Google Health enabled record keeping system? Or will they be based on common Data Portability best practices?