Posted by: lrrp | February 29, 2008

Consumer memo: Google tests health record service

Health records test

Google will begin storing medical records of thousands of people as it tests a long-awaited health service that is likely to raise more concerns about the volume of sensitive information entrusted to the Internet search leader.

The pilot project, announced Thursday, will involve 1,500 to 10,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic who volunteered for an electronic transfer of their health records so they could be retrieved through Google’s new service, which won’t be open to the general public.

GM, Toyota inquiry

General Motors Corp.’s Pontiac Vibe sport wagon and Toyota Motor Corp.’s Matrix wagon and Corolla sedan are under investigation by U.S. regulators after motorists’ complained that power windows got stuck and, in some cases, shattered.

The investigation may affect vehicles from the 2003-04 model years.

Detecting bad beef

DuPont said it would team up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop improved methods for detecting E. coli bacteria in beef.

Researchers from the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska will cooperate with company scientists to develop a new test for a bacteria that led to more than 30 million pounds of beef being recalled last year.

AOL retools kids’ site

AOL, facing a drop in subscribers who pay for Internet access, retooled its children’s Web site KOL by partnering with National Geographic and GirlSense to offer interactive games and activities.

The Web site is designed for children younger than 12. The retooled version lets children customize Web pages, receive e-mail and play more than 100 games.

In brief

Microsoft plans to introduce the sequel to its “Gears of War” video game in November.

•Federal regulators Thursday approved a Wyeth drug to prevent and control bleeding in patients with a rare blood-clotting disorder.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared Xyntha for the treatment of hemophilia.

Product recalls

•About 152,000 portable electric heaters, distributed by Aloha Housewares Inc., because they can overheat and their plastic parts can melt. Details: 800-295-4448.

•About 25,000 “Louisville/Davidson” and “Michigan” brand fiberglass extension ladders, made by Louisville Ladder Inc., because the extension or “fly” section can fail to lock.


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