Centralized Health Care Record Database

I’m a big proponent of “big data”, of giving people the option of storing anything and everything about their life digitally as long as it makes their life easier, better, more fulfilling.

Unfortunately, too many people are still scared of giving personal information over to “big business” or “big government”. In my view, that’s like being scared of pulling down your pants during a physical exam.

There are areas of our lives, where keeping a centralized database of personal information can have dramatic effects of the quality of life. One such area is the healthcare system, where many records are still not kept electronically, and those that are, cannot be easily synchronized from one doctor to the next.

You could, of course, pass laws that require health care providers to (1) keep all records electronically and (2) to use the same standard that work with the centralized database. My hope is that companies like Google come out with a solution that seems obviously beneficial.

Unfortunately, Google Health tried to do just that and recently closed down. The reason is unknown, there are many suggestions, but the main reason is probably that it was bad PR. People seem scared of putting their health records online due to privacy concerns, and therefore if Google helps them do it, that somehow automatically make Google evil.

The following is a C-SPAN program on this subject from a while back:

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