Google on Monday launched its much anticipated Web-based personal health record (PHR) system, which enables consumers to upload, store and manage medical records from a variety of sources, the New York Times reports. Under the new password-protected service, available at www.google.com/health, users can create an online health profile by culling medical records information imported from organizations such as pharmacies and lab testing companies, as well as personal information on medical history or drug allergies. In addition to connecting users with online research about health conditions and notifying them about potential drug interactions or other safety risks through a “virtual pillbox” feature, the site also directs consumers to links for physician searches, major U.S. pharmacies, medical groups, and other health information. Moreover, customers through the site can schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, receive online diagnostic test results and add their physicians’ e-mail addresses to their contact lists. Thus far, more than two dozen partners and institutions are participating in the Google Health initiative, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, CVS Caremark, the American Heart Association and Walgreens. Meanwhile, the company in February also announced it had forged deals with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, health insurer Aetna, medical testing company Quest Diagnostics, Wal-Mart and several others (Lohr, Times, 5/20/08; Metz, Associated Press, 5/20/08; Auchard/Beck, Reuters, 5/19/08; Vascellaro, Wall Street Journal 5/20/08 [subscription required]).