Health and Powermeter Closed: Google

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Two of Google services have opted for premature retirement as they fail to pick up enough users. The services, Google hoped to make a serious impact on healthcare and power usage.

The Google Health and Google PowerMeter services were launched in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Google Health project was aimed to give users more access to data about themselves that was otherwise held by doctors and help to take more control of their healthcare.

The PowerMeter service was aimed to encourage people to lower their consumption levels of energy by showing them how much they were using.

Both the services operated under the slogans ?Better health comes from better information? and ?Save Energy. Save Money. Make a Difference?.

However, both the services would be available for a limited time so that people could retrieve their data.

The main idea of the projects was based on the notion that with more and better information, people make wise choice regarding their health and power consumption. The executives commented that ?While they didn’t scale as we had hoped, we believe they did highlight the importance of access to information in areas where it?s traditionally been difficult.?

Oregon IT specialist Brian Ahier said that while the products were good, Google did not promote it the right way. Aaron Brown, senior product manager at Google Health, said ?Mainly, the company has had a problem getting widespread adoption for the service. They did get tech-savvy people on board as well as their caregivers, but it never spread beyond that.?

An update from official Google blog:

?In the coming months, we?re going to retire two products that didn?t catch on the way we would have hoped, but did serve as influential models:?Google Health (retiring January 1, 2012; data available for download through January 1, 2013) and?Google PowerMeter (retiring September 16, 2011). Both were based on the idea that with more and better information, people can make smarter choices, whether in regard to managing personal health and wellness, or saving money and conserving energy at home. While they didn’t scale as we had hoped, we believe they did highlight the importance of access to information in areas where it?s traditionally been difficult.

We?ve observed that Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would. There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven?t found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people. That?s why we?ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the Google Health service. We?ll continue to operate the Google Health site as usual through January 1, 2012, and we?ll provide an ongoing way for people to download their health data for an additional year beyond that, through January 1, 2013. Any data that remains in Google Health after that point will be permanently deleted.?,, Official Google blog, International business times.


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