Saturday, November 2, 2013

Could Google have saved

For the sake of argument, let’s leave aside for the moment the many, serious problems with the actual implementation and execution of Obamacare and focus on the widely storied problems with the web site. Could it have worked out flawlessly – or at least with only modest roll-out problems common to any large launch – if it had been designed by someone competent? Clearly there’s only one person to ask, and as per Brian Fung at the wapo, that’s The Donald.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Donald Trump lashes out at and argues, somewhat trollishly, that a U.S. company such as Google would never have dropped the ball on such a project:
“I would have advised them to go to Google or one of our other great technological companies and get their act straightened out,” Trump told the Washington Examiner. “They should have done that before they did the roll out with a Canadian company with a bad track record.”
Since this is the Washington Post, they have to scoff at the idea immediately, but it’s an interesting question. I’m not saying they’d have done it for free as Trump suggests they might, but given a few years and a reasonable budget, could they have filled the bill? Fung brings up one of Google’s many, many tech initiatives over the years which I’d forgotten about. Back in 2007 they actually launched a product which aimed to do something very similar.
The initiative was called Google Health, and its vision was to produce a centralized database for electronic medical records. Users could log on, add their information — or get their insurer to do it for them — and wind up with one set of documents they could give to doctors and other health professionals. The service was up and running by 2008. But by 2011, Google had decided to shutter the service. Its audience was too limited, the company said in a blog post. The only people who used it were fitness nuts and geeky early adopters.
Why did Google Health fail, and could it have been adapted to serve’s purposes?
One big reason is that logistically, Google was hamstrung by some of the same forces that stymied CGI, the government’s lead contractor on

Via: Hot Air
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