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Google to shut down health, power services

Google Logo Google started Google Health in 2008 and PowerMeter in 2009 to allow user to manage their health and energy usage.

After being online for three years, curtains are now falling on the Google's Health and PowerMeter services. Lack of public interest has prompted the closure, said the company.

The Google Health was started in 2008, and allowed users to manage their health by providing access to data held by their doctors. The PowerMeter service was launched in 2009, and aimed to let an individual control their energy consumption.

In the company blog, Google Health senior product manager Aaron Brown and Bill Weihl posted, "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."

"There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and, more recently, fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven't found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people." – a blog post by the company about Google Health service.

"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."

Services did not have a broad impact, says Google
Multiple partners were engaged in the project, but a low user response led to closure of the services. The PowerMeter service was rolled out for UK and U.S. customers, whereas, Google Health was available to U.S. users only.

In the Google blog, the company wrote, "Now, with a few years of experience, we've observed that Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would."

"There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and, more recently, fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven't found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people."

About the PowerMeter service, the blog post stated, "We first launched Google PowerMeter as a Google.org project to raise awareness about the importance of giving people access to data surrounding their energy usage."

"Our efforts have not scaled as quickly as we would like, so we are retiring the service."

Google to allow retrieval of uploaded data
The company has indicated that they will let users download the data which were available through these services. While the data in PowerMeter will be available till September, Google Health will keep the data for a year.

File formats for downloading the contents include PDF, industry-standard Continuity of Care Record (CCR) XML and CSV for records, and HTML and XML for 'data notices'. They will also be available in a ZIP archive for all of the uploaded data.