The Google Health Advisory Council: Outrage

Controversy continues to engulf Google’s announcement of their Health Advisory Council. I wrote that it consisted of old-school, ivory tower-academic types chosen for their titles alone. Safe choices. Boring choices. Hardly befitting the more youthful demographic of the internet.

Frankly, this is a list that I’d expect Microsoft to have thought up, not Google.

Rachel Walden:
“I want to know how a company trying to connect people to health information doesn’t bother to get a few medical librarians on board, given that’s our skillset, profession, and raison d’etre. It’s what we have master’s degrees in. It’s what we do every. single. day. Grrr. Bad Google. If you start a health advisory council and annoy the docs, nurses, and medlibs right away, how good a job have you done?”

Dean Giustini:
“Note to Google: Who do you think provides patient education and materials to consumers? It’s nurses. It’s health librarians. In the information age, librarians are equal partners in the delivery of health care, in case you haven’t noticed. Who do you believe is responsible for delivering information to patients outside of the clinical team? Further, who knows these tools better than health librarians?”

Graham Walker:
“Google announces a new “Health Advisory Council” with a lot of big names, but no medical students or likely anyone in the health care industry (by their faces and descriptions at least) under 35 or 40. (Hint, Google: medical students and residents are your power users and early adopters of medical technology, and are most likely to be open to change in the health care system!) Add some youth to your perspective”“we’re the ones who’ve grown up with technology!”

Martha Hardy
“I’m officially joining the chorus of folks who are justifiably baffled that Google has formed their Google Health Advisory Council without including a single medical librarian. Maybe they think they don’t need us because they have Dean Ornish?”

Brian Robinson:
“If Google really is interested in good advice about the medical field then this Council should be broadened substantially, at least to give it the street cred it needs as well as the auspicious glow the current names provide.”

Update –
Digital Doorway:
“Google may be very talented at gobbling up major slices of the world without swallowing, but in attempting to create an Advisory Council on healthcare, the good folks at Google seem to have choked on their own hubris. Perhaps the feedback will cause some buyers remorse and compel Google to rethink their strategy. Or perhaps they will steamroll ahead with their Ivory Tower council and continue to spurn those from whom we have the most to learn about healthcare, access to healthcare, and the vicissitudes therein.”

“In the hospital setting, nurses are often the person that the patient interacts with the most, and so they are uniquely positioned to be able to gather information on problems that healthcare consumers face.”

John Mack
“Undoubtedly, Google gets the vast majority of its health ad revenue from the pharmaceutical industry. Just on the basis of that fact, it needs at least one pharma marketing/advertising expert among its advisors.

Google Should Lead New-School Thinking, Not Follow Old-School Advice!

More than that, Google and other online organizations wishing to present responsible drug ads and other pharmaceutical industry communications to consumers need to include experts in pharma eMarketing, especially those experts who want and know how to do it right.”

John M. Grohol:
“Unfortunately for Google, their little council of just 21 members leaves out so many components, professions and wide swaths of understanding “health,” it’s almost being seen as either a joke or a naive first step into this field.”

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