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Google Pilot Program to Store Personal Medical Records Online

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

California-based Google says it will soon launch a pilot project to store personal medical records online. Privacy watchdogs say let the buyer beware. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

The project will involve up to 10,000 patients at the Ohio-based Cleveland Clinic . Patients’ medical histories and prescription drug information will be transferred to a secure profile on Google.

Pam Dixon directs the San Diego-based World Privacy Forum. She says medical records stored by healthcare providers are protected under the federal privacy law known as HIPAA . Providers may not share or use the information for marketing purposes.

Dixon : But if you take those exact same files and give them to a company that does not fall under HIPAA protections, those prohibitions evaporate.

Google says the online health records will be password protected.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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