google logoAre you a fan of Google Drive for sharing and collaborating on files? UTHealth is pleased to introduce UTH-Share, UTHealth’s implementation of Google Apps for Education. By creating a username and password here, you can create your UTHealth Google Drive account and share files with other UTHealth users. Scoop sat down with Medical School Information Technology to find out more about this application.

Q: What are Google Apps?
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service provide by Google which enable user cloud storage, file sharing, information discovery and  collaborative editing, It is the home of Google Docs, an office suite of productivity applications, that offer collaborative editing on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings.

Q: Who is this being offered to at UTHealth and when?
This is being piloted first at the Medical School and went live earlier this month.

Q: Is it safe to put all files here?
No. PHI or HIPPA information is not to be uploaded to UTH-Share. As always, the university’s graphic and editorial web standards apply for any document made publicly available. These standards can be found here.

Q: Can I share files with others outside of the UTHealth network on it?
Yes, you just need to know their Google credential (i.e.,, etc)

Q: Will we be getting Google emails as part of this?
No. Your UTHealth email address will be where you will receive any information from UTH-Share regarding files shared with you. You are issued a Google identity credential having a personal identifier of the form  Although this appears to be an email address, it is not.

Q: Is this replacing X-files?
This is one of the solutions that is meant to replace X-Files for non-PHI data because users need an easy way to share large files with collaborators inside and outside the organization. Another solution is being looked at for PHI data.

Q: Will all Medical School users be loaded in – like people directory, or do we have to know their emails to share?
All UTHealth employees are automatically entered into UTH-Share. Each person must activate their UTH-Share identity credential using the link provided in order to have access to the system. Users are able to look up the personal identifiers of individuals at UTHealth in the user directory within the “Contacts Application.”

Q: What are the benefits of Google Apps for Individuals versus Google Apps for Education?
Google Apps for Individuals is managed by Google and the content is owned by each individual whereas Google Apps for Education is administered by UTHealth and is compliant with FERPA and other regulatory requirements. UTHealth is the owner of the information in UTH-Share. Google only provides the service.

Q: Is this a cost savings? What is the cost?
This product is made available to UTHealth by Google at no cost to the university. Unlimited storage is a provided at no cost for Google formatted documents (e.g. Docs, Sheets, Slides, forms, etc), photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels, and videos up to 15 minutes in length. Users are given 30 gigabytes of storage for non-Google file formats (e.g. .docx, .PDF, MP3, etc). Additional space can be purchased from Google.

Q: How long did this take to implement?
At the request of many faculty members staff and students in 2010, Academic Technology and the Medical School Information Technology began systematically evaluating Google Apps Education services. An evaluation instance was implemented at UTHealth on June 15, 2012. Legal approved signing the legal agreement in  February 2013. The university administration signed the agreement July 7, 2013. Subsequently, a project charter was created and, a project plan was developed and implemented.

See all UTH Share FAQs here.

-Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School