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Google to shutter health, energy services

Posting in Energy

Google will retire its Health and PowerMeter services because they failed to get traction among the general public.

Google announced on Friday that it would retire its Health and PowerMeter services because they failed to get traction among the general public.

In a blog post, employees Aaron Brown and Bill Weihl acknowledged that the products "didn’t catch on the way we would have hoped."

Google Health was launched to give people access to their personal health and wellness information. Google PowerMeter intended to raise awareness about personal energy usage by surfacing that data to users.

Health will be retired on Jan. 1 2012. (Google will keep its data available for download through Jan. 1, 2013.)

PowerMeter will close down Sept. 16, 2011.

The authors write:

Both were based on the idea that with more and better information, people can make smarter choices, whether in regard to managing personal health and wellness, or saving money and conserving energy at home. While they didn't scale as we had hoped, we believe they did highlight the importance of access to information in areas where it’s traditionally been difficult.

Specifically, Google Health failed to see adoption beyond a small population of tech-savvy patients and their caregivers and fitness and wellness enthusiasts; meanwhile, PowerMeter failed for similar reasons, despite increasing adoption of smart meters and other intelligent home energy devices -- not to mention favorable policies in California and Texas.

"By helping people make more informed decisions through greater access to more information, we believe Google Health and PowerMeter have been trailblazers in their respective categories," they write. "Ultimately though, we want to satisfy the most pressing needs for the greatest number of people."

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure