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Monday, July 09, 2007

Feeling Sicko? Ask Dr. Google

Google and Microsoft are preparing to slug it out to be your virtual diagnostician, according to analyst firm Wireless Healthcare.

Google just launched a health advisory board to help the search engine to deliver better quality search results, and Microsoft recently launched a health care platform aimed at delivering corporate and consumer information.

Also, according to Wireless Healthcare "...Google's recent investment in the Genetic profiling company 23andMe and Microsoft's purchase of the intelligent medical search company Medstory could lead to the emergence of services that are highly disruptive within the healthcare market."

But display ads and medicine aren't a healthy combination, so perhaps pay-for services are in gestation.

"Advertising and healthcare do not mix well and this issue is already proving to be controversial. I am sure that regulators would be unhappy if banner advertisements started to appear on a patient's online medical record or diagnosis," said
Peter Kruger, Analyst with Wireless Healthcare.

The search engines must be very careful in this area because steering people towards bad health information that gets them hurt could be an ambulance-chasing lawyer's dream case.

By John Gartner at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

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