A lot has changed since the concept of Google Health was first broached in July 2006. After months of preparation, the site was finally launched on Monday. Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) pitch to users is that they will be able to keep all their health information — including details about users’ doctors, hospitals, medical history, lab tests, etc… — while being able to search for additional resources related to your particular medical profile.
– Terms of service: As the terms state, “When you provide your information through Google Health, you give Google a license to use and distribute it in connection with Google Health and other Google services.” Google is not a “covered entity” under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and therefore, the provisions of that law do not apply to what Google does with your info. That means if you disclose details such as whether you have AIDS, HIV or any sexually transmitted disease, have been treated for drug an alcohol abuse, have had an abortion, or have a genetic predisposition to any diseases, you just have to trust Google to keep that information secure. A webcast with the heralding of Google Health is available here.