Healthcare & Life Sciences

Google’s Cloud Healthcare Consent Management API now generally available

#healthcare

Last fall, we announced the Public Preview of the Google Cloud Healthcare Consent Management API, which gives healthcare application developers and clinical researchers a simple way to manage individuals’ consent over use of health data. Since then, early adopters have used the API to do things like create personalized patient portals, securely integrate data into clinical workflows based on patient consent, and develop virtual clinical trials.     

Today, we’re pleased to announce that the Healthcare Consent Management API is generally available, giving customers the ability to greatly scale the management of consents to meet increasing need, particularly amidst the emerging task of managing health data for new care and research scenarios. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare organizations have quickly embraced concepts like virtual care and remote trials. As a result, healthcare application developers and researchers have needed easy and secure ways to manage patient consent. Further, the explosion of rich data generated by devices such as glucose monitors, wearables, and other sources have emphasized the importance of patient consent and privacy, as patients and caregivers look to safely incorporate data from more sources into their care plans.

The Healthcare Consent Management API helps by making it easier to satisfy the requirements of existing and emerging privacy and consent frameworks, while supporting the transparent and responsible incorporation of digital health data into patient care and research. The flow of consent and privacy information can work as follows:

  1. Administrators within a provider or research organization configure a unique instance of the Healthcare Consent Management API with the privacy concepts and terminology that their organizations use.

  2. When a provider or researcher application offers privacy options to a user, the application creates or revises a corresponding consent record within the Healthcare Consent Management API to reflect that user's selected option.

  3. As provider or researcher applications write data to their datastores, those applications inform the organization’s Healthcare Consent Management API instance about the relevant privacy characteristics of that data.

  4. When providers, researchers or their applications need to determine whether data can be accessed for a particular purpose, a query is sent to the Healthcare Consent Management API, which quickly determines if there is a valid consent record permitting that access. 

The Healthcare Consent Management API adds to Google Cloud’s efforts to bring innovative technologies to the healthcare and life sciences industries—particularly in data security, privacy, and interoperability. For example, our Healthcare API facilitates construction of cloud-native applications that work with industry-standard data like HL7v2, FHIR and DICOM; our Life Sciences API is accelerating genomics research; our Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program helps organizations achieve secure interoperability among healthcare data sources; and Cloud Data Loss Prevention provides a fully managed service designed to help discover, classify, and protect sensitive data. 

We’re pleased to add the Healthcare Consent Management API to our portfolio of solutions, and to support healthcare and life sciences professionals as healthcare data begins to span a variety of devices, scenarios, and locations. To learn more about the Consent Management API, and to get started with your own healthcare project, visit the concept articles and how-to guides.