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Google Health Adds “Living Wills” and Scanned Document Capabilities

Google Health announced last week that it would allow patients to upload scanned documents to their personal health records (PHRs) and provide a way for patients to share their “living wills”, through the new Google partnership with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Caring Connections.

Google Health’s goal is to help patients organize their medical information by providing a platform to house all of their medical records. They are increasing that capability with a new feature that allows patients to upload their paper medical records through scanned documents.

According to Google executives, “We hope someday we’ll move beyond paper, but until then Google Health can help you store your paper medical records electronically, including an advance directive, in one safe place.”

The new feature will also include scanned “living wills” that users have downloaded, completed, and up-loaded. Google will provide free advance directive forms that are state-specific. Most advance directives are hard to access when patients are unconscious or otherwise unable to speak, so the Google Health documents will be made available to health providers and families in emergency situations.

“Advance directives are useless unless they are available during emergency healthcare situations. Google Health will make these documents accessible online and will eliminate a huge barrier of access during times of need,” remarked President and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, J. Donald Schumacher.

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