Building a better PHR paradigm: Lessons from the discontinuation of google health

Richard Brandt, Rich Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The growing complexity and increasing volume of healthcare information is currently overwhelming many healthcare professionals and patients within the U.S. healthcare system. The federally mandated digitization of physician-generated electronic medical records (EMRs) may facilitate the expedited adoption of the patient-controlled personal health records (PHRs) as the majority of Americans want to be more involved in their own care. The worlds greatest purveyor of information gathering and organization, Google Inc., attempted to facilitate a comprehensive PHR paradigm but the project was discontinued after experiencing limited success. PHR adoption rates among U.S. citizen-patients remain low. Most research offers a simplified, one-size-fits-all checklist of generalized PHR problems that need correction or compare Google's efforts to those of other companies. Unfortunately, low PHR implementation rates cannot be framed within, or assisted by, a widely cast call-to-action and a generic solution. In an effort to combine academic research and industry-based grey literature, this article explores various databases and search engines (i.e. EBSCO, JSTOR, Texas Tech Universitys OneSearchSM, Google Web Search, and Google Scholar), and relates a list of 22 potential deficiencies that may have contributed to the discontinuation of Google Health™. Findings are itemized and presented in an attempt to help refine healthcare communication and documentation protocols, and to reinvigorate the imagination of scholars, clinicians, and health informatics professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-207
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Policy and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Electronic medical records
  • Google health™
  • Health information exchange
  • Personal health records
  • Policy formation


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