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Google Health is expanding their services to allow users to track “wellness” data. They have been providing a place to keep your medical record (if you’re willing to enter all that information off of reports from your doctors, hospitals, etc.), but they’ve added a feature so users can track things like exercise and diet. Why not track a depression inventory, or psychotherapy homework assignments, allowing access by the therapist to the client’s record?

We are way behind in using the power of the Internet to extend the psychotherapy container, but this sort of thing takes a part of the way down the track.

Here’s Dean Ornish, in the Huffington Post, on Google Health:

These design changes are important, as they now make Google Health a new tool for anyone looking to improve their health through lifestyle change. For example, you can create customized Google Health trackers for different aspects of your lifestyle and keep a record of where you are day to day and how you progress over time. For those who like to set goals and monitor progress toward them, the newly designed product offers that too. And it looks like Google has given you a way to see how medical tests and conditions can track with your personal wellness goals.

Will the new and improved Google Health be enough to make Internet-based tracking a daily part of people’s health and lifestyle activities or a catalyst for better health through lifestyle change? It’s too soon to tell, but the steps that Google has taken today to improve this product are clearly in the right direction. They are offering a set of new features for consumers to engage more with their own health and wellness.

We’re clearly still at the beginning of a revolution in health and Internet-technologies, but I’m excited to watch what develops as more and more companies find ways to help consumers empower their lives and take control of their own health.

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