During December 2008 and January 2009, the user experience research firm User Centric conducted an independent comparative usability study of two existing online personal health record applications,
Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault. (Neither Google nor Microsoft commissioned or participated in this study in any manner.) During this study, 30 participants completed key tasks using each PHR application and provided qualitative feedback, ratings and preference data on five specific dimensions:
Overall usability, utility (usefulness of features), security, privacy and trust. Participants performed up to seven tasks on both Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault, which included three tasks that explored each application’s unique features. Midway through the study, a third PHR application, MyMedicalRecords.com, was added to gather additional qualitative data.
The majority of study participants found PHRs to be useful and stated that they had an interest in building their own PHRs after the study. Overall, participants indicated that they found Google Health more usable
because navigation and data entry of health information was easier than on the other applications.
Participants said that the Google Health application utilized more familiar medical terminology and provided a persistent health information profile summary.
User Centric has identified trends based on an analysis of the study data.