We've posted on Practice Fusion before here and the feedback we've heard was that using "de-identified" patient data to subsidize a free EHR was going to be a serious problem. Practice Fusion just announced a partnership with Google wherein the web-based application will still be delivered for free but now it will be subsidized by advertisements that come up based on keywords in the patients' records. No word as to whether the initial model has been scrapped or if this new concept is complementary. One thing's for certain, it still raises the hackles of privacy advocates.
"It still comes down to the fact the company is using people's sensitive, personal information for profit," said Allison Knight, staff attorney for the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington.