It seems that the API cleaning has not yet ended at Google. Awhile back, Google announced its decision to shut down its popular translation API, a decision that did not go down favourably with the users. Now Google Health API has been given a negative prognosis and Google PowerMeter API will soon run out of juice.
The Google announcement to bring down Google Health and Google PowerMeter does throw up larger questions. Health and green standards are areas where Google had an opportunity to lead the way. Google Health was targeted towards allowing individuals to record and manage their health information. When you look at the potential benefits of having a centrally managed Continuity Care Record, it is a no brainer. But it's a challenge to make all health providers adopt a standard and adapt their systems to use it. It takes years and there are potentially other competing systems, not to mention issues of security and data privacy, especially when personal health data is involved.
PowerMeter allowed people to get information about their energy usage. It was definitely a right first step to make consumers aware of their usage first and then look for solutions. Given the upswing in smart devices in and around our homes and cities, what PowerMeter set out to do is embedded deeply now in all devices.
Google PowerMeter is retiring on September 16, 2011. Google Health is retiring on January 1, 2012, but the data is going to be available for download till January 1, 2013. We assume that the API will also be available until the dates mentioned. But if you have any of your applications dependent on these APIs, the time to start the planning to transition over to another service or your own custom solution is now. The suggested mechanism to retrieve all your data before the services go offline is to simply go to each of the sites and download your information in a variety of file formats. Refer to the Google blog post for more instructions.