Very few things qualify for removal from Google's search results, and according to Bloomberg, that list just grew by one. The tech titan has apparently begun purging personal medical records from results pages -- Google didn't make a big announcement about it, but a new line on its Removal Policies website confirms the new rule. Under the section marked "Information we may remove," there's a new entry that says "confidential, personal medical records of private people." Google might have begun working on the category's addition after an unfortunate event in December that exposed the sensitive medical condition of a massive number of people.
Google's launching a new feature on mobile and its Google search app that promises to provide answers without forcing you to dig through dozens of overwhelming (and possibly misleading) medical forums, let alone consult established sites like WebMD. In the coming days, when you ask Google about your symptoms, the search engine will return a list of related conditions. For instance, if you search for "headache on one side," Google will offer up a list of informational cards with possible answers for what's ailing you. Tap a card, and it'll provide further information on the condition and treatment. Google takes pains to emphasize that it's trying to make it easier for you to find good medical information on the web, but it's also making sure you don't use the web as a substitute for professional advice.
Apple's Health Records API is now open to developers. First announced in January, Apple has pitched the Health Records feature as a way to give consumers a hand-held electronic medical records (EMR) system that aggregates patient data into one view on the iPhone. ALSO SEE: Apple can win electronic medical record game with Health Records in iOS 11.3: Here's 7 reasons why With the API now available, the Cupertino tech giant said developers can build health apps with individualized experiences tailored to a user's health history across key categories, including medication tracking, disease management, nutrition planning and medical research. More than 500 hospitals and clinics are allowing patients to access their medical information through Apple's Health Records program. According to Apple, all health records data is encrypted on the iPhone and passcode protected.
Today Apple delivered a Health Records API for developers and researchers to create an ecosystem of apps that use health record data to better manage medications, nutrition plans, diagnosed diseases and more. The Health Records feature allows patients of more than 500 hospitals and clinics to access medical information from various institutions organized into one view on their iPhone. For the first time, consumers will be able to share medical records from multiple hospitals with their favorite trusted apps, helping them improve their overall health. "Medical information may be the most important personal information to a consumer, and offering access to Health Records was the first step in empowering them. Now, with the potential of Health Records information paired with HealthKit data, patients are on the path to receiving a holistic view of their health," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.
Epic is unveiling a massive data compilation effort intended to gather de-identified patient information from participating systems that eventually could be used by clinicians to improve care decisions. Called Cosmos, the initiative aims to aggregate patients' medical information from its customers to offer a wider base of information from which to enable real-world evidence based practice of medicine, even for conditions that are now currently rare and on which it's difficult to have a large enough sample size on which to make medical decisions. The Verona, Wis.-based hospital systems vendor publicized the project on Tuesday at its users group meeting, which attracted about 17,000 healthcare IT professionals to its campus. So far, nine healthcare systems are contributing patient data to Cosmos, says Sumit Rana, senior vice president of research and development for Epic. Those systems have data on 7.7 million patients.