"We want to satisfy the most pressing needs for the greatest number of people," Google wrote in a blog post. "In the case of these two products, our inability to scale has led us to focus our priorities elsewhere."
Launched in 2008, Google Health, a site that let users upload medical information online, was devised to make it easier for people to access and selectively share data about their health. Users could store records, import data from doctors and hospitals, set goals for personal wellness, and monitor daily activity. The site will shut down on January 1, 2012, though users can download their data until January 1, 2013.
Google wrote of the reason for its decision.
With a few years of experience, we’ve observed that Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would. There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven’t found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people
Google PowerMeter will also be closed by September 16, 2011. PowerMeter let people monitor the energy they use, accessing data through smart meters and energy monitors, and showing people how much energy they use and when. The tool let people predict their costs and create goals for budget savings. With PowerMeter, Google hoped to help users lower energy consumption by making it simple to see the data behind the costs.
Google, which noted that the notion of the smart meter had since started to catch on across the country, explained that while they're "pleased that PowerMeter has helped demonstrate the importance of this access and created something of a model," that "our efforts have not scaled as quickly as we would like."
Recently, the disappearance of the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button from certain search homepages sparked speculation that Google was killing the feature.