Google partnered with Ascension

Google’s Contribution Towards Advancements in the Healthcare Sector

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Key Highlights:

  • Google announced its recent partnership with the US’s largest hospital chain to access patient records 
  • The stored information will be used to build programs for information on medical decisions
  • Previously in 2019, Google announced a partnership with Ascension to improvise its healthcare facilities

Improving the Healthcare sector using technology

The healthcare industry is considered to be one of the most promising and flourishing sectors. According to Forbes, ‘health-tech is projected to reach $149 billion by 2025. With regard to the future potentials of the sector, major tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and many

More have already stepped foot into the healthcare domain. These tech companies are investing billions in research and acquisitions in large amounts, keen to use their technological expertise to bring out advanced and easy-to-use medical solutions.

Since its inception, Google has been experimenting with its technological possessions to try and harness possibilities in sectors such as banking, entertainment, health care, etc. Currently, the American tech company is making a noteworthy introduction in the healthcare sector. 

Google’s latest healthcare project

Recently, Google is collaborating with the US-based HCA Healthcare to develop healthcare algorithms using records of patients. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal on 26 May, Google will have access to patient records from HCA. The report further stated that “HCA would consolidate and store with Google data from digital health records and internet-connected medical devices under the multi-year agreement.” The US hospital chain HCA Healthcare is the largest hospital chain in the US that operates 181 hospitals and more than 2,000 healthcare sites in 21 states.

Google will store anonymized data from patient health records and internet-connected medical devices. The stored data will be used to build programs that could deliver information on medical decisions made by healthcare providers. 

Related: Coronavirus Hoax: Addressing the pandemic of misinformation

Project Nightingale

In November 2019, Google partnered with Ascension — the second-largest healthcare system in the US — to use its advanced data analytics capabilities to improvise the use of information for patient care. Project Nightingale, the partnership project by Google and Ascension, is the biggest effort by a Silicon Valley corporation to enter the healthcare industry. Through the partnership, Google has gained access to over 50 million Ascension patients’ medical records.

The project gained public attention in November 2019 when a Wall Street Journal article was published, revealing the previously private partnership between Google and Ascension. Since then, various concerns have been raised about the project and whether it threatens the data security of protected health information (PHI). Ascension began working with Google to improve its patient care system. It wanted to improve its electronic record-keeping processes by moving its data to the cloud. Google hopes to use its partnership with Ascension to create the framework for a product which it can sell to other health systems. The corporation claims its end goal is to develop a comprehensive Google search tool that can collect and store a health system’s diverse patient data in one place. 

Google’s Derm Assist

Recently in 2021, Google revealed in its blog post about its web-based dermatological application that would assess and address dermatological issues. Google revealed that it had been working on the tool, Derm Assist, for the past three years. Derm Assist has been configured with dermatological-reviewed information to answer commonly asked skin-related questions. Based on knowledge of 288 dermatological conditions that are imported into the application, the tool will ask questions to narrow down possibilities and detect symptoms. Based on further analysis, it will list out probable matchings for treatment or further research. 

Google has been making various attempts to garner health care facilities with its advanced technological potentials. These attempts could trigger further advancements made and increase productivity in healthcare systems and create improvements in clinical quality and patient safety.

Also, read our latest issue: The 10 Robust Healthcare Leaders 2021



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