Google is one of the largest companies in the world with many products and services satisfying various needs of customers. One of the latest projects is the cloud storage of electronic medical records (Rosenbaum, 2020). Google’s goal is to create a repository and search tool in which doctors can easily find patient data, their medical history, and test results (Rosenbaum, 2020).
However, the methods Google uses to develop this system have caused concern among the media, public, and the government, as the developers have already gained access to many electronic medical records. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company had signed an agreement with several companies, which gave it access to patient data in three-quarters of the United States (as cited in Rosenbaum, 2020). However, Google claims that it has access to patient data in only two hospitals and does not use it for selling or advertising, which would make the media concerns unfounded (Rosenbaum, 2020). Thus, the company continues to develop this project despite the disapproval of its methods by a majority of society.
Google’s initiative is a useful and smart solution for US healthcare and society. Since the electronic medical records system still has flaws and many companies try to improve it, the efforts of such a giant as Google will be useful. The corporation has enough resources and experience to create and maintain a system that will provide uninterrupted access to data. However, the state and governments should cooperate with the company, and not hinder it, since improving the healthcare system is of interest in ensuring the well-being of citizens.
Concerns by the media, the public, and some governments about Google’s access to patients’ medical data are unreasonable in this case. A corporation needs data to understand the algorithms of the system and create the most convenient options for managing them. The company’s employees use de-identified data and undergo HIPAA training to ensure the safety of records (Rosenbaum, 2020).
All of this information is needed only to understand the requirements for its systematization, and its employees are unlikely interested in studying thousands of medical histories for the sake of curiosity or illegal use of this information. Feinberg, the head of Google Health, notes, “This is not us mining somebody’s records to sell ads, to learn from it, to do machine learning, to develop products” (Rosenbaum, 2020, para. 8). Consequently, Google’s cloud-based medical storage project is a useful initiative for American society.
Rosenbaum, L. (2020). Google Health Exec defends controversial partnership with Ascension: ‘We’re super proud of it’. Forbes. Web.