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Showing posts with label Online healthcare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Online healthcare. Show all posts

March 21, 2011

February 4, 2011

December 28, 2007

Healthcare Records Online : The Next big Marketing Surge

In what should be the next big thing on the internet where marketers see a surge of activity and aggressive marketing tactics seems to be Healthcare . Online Healthcare provides a minefield of opportunities to advertisers and healthcare companies to target healthcare related products once user health records and data comes available.

Most Paper records in hospitals and physician offices are increasingly being replaced by digital form on computers. Consumers are creating their own personal health records online as well. Advocates see opportunities for better health care, and some companies see profits. But a few patient privacy experts foresee problems.

Gabriel and other doctors at the University of Pennsylvania can share computerized information about patients they have in common. But, he says, when patients aren't in that system, getting information about them isn't so easy. A personal health record, or PHR, could help.

Here is how things could become very exciting for marketers once Patients medical records are made online.
  • Marketers can target customized healthcare ads from healthcare providers.
  • patients too can get accesses to large number of information and offers by healthcare providers.
  • Online records would help doctors to know precisely the medical history of a patient even without being with the patient in person
  • By combining better Internet search tools, the vast resources of the Web and online personal health records, online marketers are betting they can enable people to make smarter choices about their health habits and medical care.
However for most people, typing an ailment into a Web search engine is very different from entrusting a corporate titan with personal information about their health.

Google and Microsoft recognize the obstacles, and they concede that changing health care will take time. But the companies see the potential in attracting a large audience for health-related advertising and services. And both companies bring formidable advantages to the consumer market for such technology.

Microsoft gets about 6 billion search queries a month. An estimated 3 percent to 7 percent of those are health-related. Microsoft hopes online health records will drive even more search traffic and allow for more health-related ads.

Online personal health records are still in their infancy. A tiny number of individuals have them. The widespread ability to easily share information between doctor and patient is probably years away.

A prototype of Google Health, which the company has shown to health professionals and advisers, makes the consumer focus clear. The welcome page reads, “At Google, we feel patients should be in charge of their health information, and they should be able to grant their health care providers, family members, or whomever they choose, access to this information. Google Health was developed to meet this need.”

A presentation of screen images from the prototype - which two people who received it showed to a reporter - then has 17 other Web pages including a "health profile" for medications, conditions and allergies; a personalized "health guide" for suggested treatments, drug interactions and diet and exercise regimens; pages for sharing information, receiving reminder messages to get prescription refills or visit a doctor, and pages to access directories for nearby physicians and specialists. ( Google Health Prototype )

"If you look at health care, there's already a huge user need, people are already using Google more than any other tool on the Web to find health information," Mayer said. "And the health care industry generates a huge amount of information every year. It's a natural core competency for us, to understand how to organize all that data." ( Marissa Mayer, Google )

Earlier this year, Microsoft acquired Medstory, a Foster City, Calif.-based startup specializing in search software optimized for finding health information. Microsoft software is already used in hospitals, clinical laboratories and doctors’ offices, and, Mr. Shihadeh noted, the three most popular health record systems in doctors’ offices are built with Microsoft software and programming tools.

Microsoft has since launched HealthVault, a set of search and personal health-record tools that consumers control in terms of the data that's entered and shared with others

Microsoft will not disclose its product plans, but according to people working with the company the consumer effort will include online offerings as well as software to find, retrieve and store personal health information on personal computers, cellphones and other kinds of digital devices perhaps even a wristwatch with wireless Internet links some day.

Yet personal health records promise to be a thorny challenge for practical and privacy reasons. To be most useful, a consumer-controlled record would include medical and treatment records from doctors, hospitals, insurers and laboratories.

Maintaining digital health record would require partnerships and trust between health care providers and insurers and the digital record-keepers.

Privacy concerns are another big obstacle, as both companies acknowledge.A person might start, typing in age, gender and a condition,and a common ailment like diabetes, as a way to find more personalized health information. If a person creates a personal health record and later has second thoughts, a simple mouse click should erase it. The promise, the companies say, will be complete consumer control.

Online healthcare promises to be a great way for search marketers for targetting a user by their medical history which is most industry experts say is more relevant and trustworthy way of marketing products online.

It would be interesting to see however how privacy issues are handled by the two search giants.

Related Links on Healthcare Marketing Opportunities

Personal Health Records Moving Online

Google Says Its Health Platform Is Due In Early 2008

Google and Microsoft Looking to change Healthcare

Google Health Prototype