Google Releases Google Health Service

Google Inc on Monday unveiled Google Health, a long-anticipated U.S. health information service that combines the leading Web company’s classic search services with a user’s personal health records online.

The password-protected service, which can be found at www.google.com/health/, stores a user’s basic medical history and gathers relevant information connected to their health conditions.

One feature includes a link to help users find doctors by location or specialization. The “virtual pillbox” notifies patients when they need to take medications and warns of potential drug interactions.

The service includes links to major U.S. pharmacies, doctors’ groups and medical testing labs.

Partners include Walgreen Co, Longs Drugs Stores Corp, CVS Caremark Group, AllScripts, Quest Diagnostics and the Cleveland Clinic. The company had previously said it was working with health insurers such as Aetna Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc pharmacies.

Officials at the Mountain View, California-based company announced the long-anticipated service during a news conference to discuss developments in the company’s core search business.

“If anyone can demystify what health is, and make it fun…Google can,” Dr. Michael Roizen, the chief wellness officer for the Cleveland Clinic, a major private U.S. medical group, said during the news conference at Google headquarters.

Patients would control access to their records, Google said. Reuters’ Eric Auchard and Amanda Beck report