Monday, 27 June 2011

Google closes Health and PowerMeter services

Google closes Health and PowerMeter services

Two Google services are to be closed after failing to pick up enough users in the healthcare and energy usage markets

Google is to close two services that it had hoped would make a serious impact on healthcare and people’s power usage.

The Google Health and Google PowerMeter services were launched in 2008 and 2009 respectively. The Health project aimed to give users more access to data about themselves that was typically held by doctors, and then to be able to take more control over their own healthcare. The PowerMeter project would, it was hoped, encourage people to lower their levels of energy consumption by showing them how much they were using. The services operated under the slogans “Better health comes from better information” and “Save Energy. Save Money. Make a Difference”.

Writing on the official Google Blog, Aaron Brown and Bill Weihl, said that the services would be available for a limited time so that people could retrieve their data. “Both [services] 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,” the pair wrote. “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.”

An analysis of Google Health’s failure on ReadWriteWeb suggested that the product itself was good, but Google had not supported it in the right way. “Google's decision to pull the plug on Google Health will ultimately be a bad thing for the whole industry”, said Oregon IT specialist Brian Ahier.

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