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Taking the temperature on Google Health

Is Google gearing up to offer online personal health records? One consultant and author in the electronic healthcare industry says the tea leaves point that way.

Vince Kuraitis has dissected a multitude of postings and literature produced by Google's vice president, Adam Bosworth, and here's his theory on the search giant's health initiative.

Kuraitis, principal and founder of healthcare consultants Better Health Technologies, predicted Monday at the fourth annual Healthcare Unbound conference that Google may develop the next generation of the personal health record.

After combing through Bosworth's material, Kuraitis said he wouldn't be surprised to see a Google Health that is patient-centric, where consumers own their personal health data and access it via a Web site, which acts like a repository for the information.

With proper approvals, a user could share their health information by giving designated people access to their online content, Kuraitis speculated.

A Google Health project may involve XML, a Continuity of Care Record, and tight security measures, Kuraitis surmised.

"Google wants to inject themselves and become the personal health record platform," Kuraitis said in his keynote speech at Healthcare Unbound. "Personally, I would like what Google Health would do, but I realize not everyone will feel as warm and fuzzy."

Warm and fuzzy may not be the words to describe Google's health related efforts, including its Google Health Advertising Blog, which launched on June 18. Here's one perspective, posted on DeliFaks.

Anyways, Kuraitis' hunch may not be all that far off. There have been some .

Is the doctor in?