Google Health has unveiled a new feature of its online personal health record that allows users to share their medical details with doctors, carers or family members.
The new features allow a user to elect to share either a summary or selected details of their record with chosen individuals. The sharing feature can subsequently be amended at any time by a user.
Google said it added the feature in response to users’ concerns that caregivers and family members might not know the latest details about their health situation, particularly in an emergency situation.
The new record sharing feature includes several security measures. Users must choose who can access their PHRs, and the link to a patient’s profile that is subsequently sent out will work only in connection with the selected e-mail addresses. The email link also expires after 30-days
In addition, users also can determine precisely what information they want to share. Those who are given access to view users’ profiles do not have the ability to edit the information.
Users will also have the ability to see who has accessed their profile.
A further development of the Google PHR is a new feature that simply graphs users’ laboratory and medical results. For any data imported into the PHR that can be charted a plus button appears that when clicked will show the relevant chart.
The system also now lets users print wallet- and letter-size hard copies of their PHR, including medications, allergies, conditions and treatments. This also offers the ability to print a simple summary of a users’ Google Health profile, including latest data but not the entire history.
A user also now has the option to export their profile to PDF.