Google Health announced today that the newest version of its patient-managed medical record is accessible to visually-impaired users. Using voice prompts and auditory icons, users of assistive technology are now able to open Google Health profiles and populate them with their own medical information including vitals, conditions, medications, allergies, procedures, test results and immunizations.
Assistive technology such as screen readers, which translate text into speech or text into Braille, offer computer access to the blind, visually impaired and illiterate.
Writing about the launch of Google Health’s newest enhancement, Google Blogger and Research Scientist T.V. Raman, notes that
“Google Health gives me a single unified web interface to manage all of my health-related information. Kudos to the Google Health and GWT teams for creating an extremely useful and usable solution!”
T.V. Raman is also the author of Emacspeak, a speech interface available free on the Internet that allows visually-impaired users to access computer applications, including video gaming. T.V. Raman, himself a visually-impaired user, discusses the software requirements to use the Google Health.
“Note that the accessibility support in Google Health requires support from both the browser as well as the adaptive technology in use. At present, we recommend Firefox 3.0 with screenreaders that support ARIA, alternatively, you can also use Fire Vox, the self-voicing extension to Firefox 3.0.”
In addition to improving accessibility for users, Google Health continues to seek relationships with innovators in healthcare, including those developing applications for disease management, secure messaging, and research.