Google Unveils APIs & Partnerships to Take Health Care to the Cloud

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Mar 6, 2018
by Josh Anderson

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — Yesterday Google announced via a blog post that it is taking steps to usher the health care industry into the cloud. These plans include a new Cloud Healthcare API, as well as HIPAA-compliant products and some notable partnerships — all of which are part of a larger effort by Google to compete with rivals Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and Apple in the health care arena.

Google Cloud’s recently launched Cloud Healthcare API will help health care organizations use a variety of data for analytics and machine learning. This tool is at this time only available to select customers, but Google plans to roll it out to more clients in the rest of 2018. Google’s HIPAA-compliant App Engine and Cloud Machine Learning Engine will also now be expanded significantly. Google now offers two dozen applications that comply with such regulatory standards.

“Just imagine if all healthcare providers could easily, securely and instantaneously collaborate while caring for you,” wrote¬†said Greg Moore, Google Cloud’s Vice-president of Health Care “Ultimately, we hope that better flow of data will inspire new discoveries with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), leading to insights that improve patient outcomes.”

Google’s strategic partnerships include health organizations such as M*Modal, the Cleveland Clinic, Lahey Health, the Chilean Health Ministry, Rush University Medical Center, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, as well as Middlesex Hospital and Chapters Health System. Google also announced partnerships with healthcare data management customers such as Flex, Imagla, Client Outlook, WuXi NextCODE & VMware.

“I see the impact that availability of data can have in medicine, and the need for it is urgent,” added Moore. “Getting data to patients, caregivers and providers is key … and that’s why we’re so excited about it.”

Interestingly, these ventures aren’t the first time that Google has tried to bet big on health care. In 2011, it shut down Google Health, a previous data management incarnation that wasn’t able to flourish due to a plethora of reasons, but most significantly, the fact that paper records still had a stranglehold on the medical records arena.

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