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Google euthanizes Google Health, unplugs PowerMeter

Google axes health records and home energy use-monitoring services, citing lagging adoption.

Three years after launching Google Health, the company has decided to pull the plug on the ailing personal health records service. The lights are also going out for the Google PowerMeter service, which monitors Web-based home energy use.

The Google Health service will expire on January 1, 2012, but users will have until January 1, 2013, to transfer their data out of the system before it gets deleted entirely.

"Now, with a few years of experience, we've observed that Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would," Google said in a blog post today. "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."

Google had high hopes for the service, with former Chief Executive Eric Schmidt touting health information as "the most important" type of search at a health trade show in early 2008. (Google representatives had lured CNET to Florida for a one-on-one interview with Schmidt but then barred CNET from asking anything other than Google Health-related questions.)

Meanwhile, Google PowerMeter, which was launched in 2009, will be shut down on September 16, 2011.

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

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