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Browse By Topic



Miss Marple and the Problem of Modern Identity

Fall 2015Alan Jacobs on being known by one’s neighbors versus being known by the state

The Politics of Digital Shaming

Spring 2015Rita Koganzon on Internet mobs and their outrage at everyday speech

Is Cyberspace Secure?

An interview with cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt

Spring 2003An interview with “cybersecurity czar” Howard A. Schmidt

Liberty, Privacy, and DNA Databases

Spring 2003Christine Rosen on the uses and dangers of genetic fingerprints

Caught in the Act

Tracking Cheating Hearts in the Cyber-Age

Fall 2003

Does Digital Politics Still Matter?

Fall 2003Robert Atkinson and Shane Ham on the battles over information technology

Iíve Got You Under My Skin

Tracking Technology Gets Personal

Fall 2004 - Winter 2005

DNA Dragnets

The Uses and Abuses of Genetic Information

Spring 2005

Checking Terrorists at the Door

Small Hopes for The Real ID Act

Summer 2005


Computer Theft Puts Veteransí Data at Risk

Summer 2006



Blog Posts

Google Health and Your Health

May 20, 2008

Google Health logoThis week, Google unveiled Google Health, its long-awaited portal for storing patient medical records. This is another promising development in the long, slow movement to better use of information technology (IT) in health care. As matters stand, most patient records are stored on paper and housed inaccessibly in physicians’ offices, despite the revolution in IT which has transformed most other sectors of the American economy (see my New Atlantis article “The Clipboard of the Future” for more on the health IT conundrum).

The new Google portal is free to users. Data must be entered into the system by participating medical providers or the patients themselves. So far, Google has signed up a handful of high-profile participating providers, including the highly respected Cleveland Clinic. Patients getting care with these providers can have their medical information automatically uploaded into their Google Health account. But, most physicians and hospitals do not yet have the ability to easily place patient data onto the Internet, so Google Health users will have to rely on themselves to keep their patient information complete and up-to-date.

Microsoft Health Vault logoGoogle’s new health venture will compete directly with Microsoft’s Health Vault, launched in 2007. Both companies have invested heavily in privacy protection to give users confidence that their online patient records are secure.