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Healthcare & Life Sciences

Transforming healthcare in the cloud through data, analytics, and machine learning

February 11, 2019
Gregory J. Moore MD, PhD

Vice President Google, Google Cloud Healthcare & Life Sciences, Google Cloud

From electronic health records to medical imaging, healthcare is an industry with an unprecedented amount of data. At Google Cloud, we want to help more healthcare organizations turn this data into health breakthroughs, through better care and more streamlined operations. Over the past year, we’ve enhanced Google Cloud offerings with healthcare in mind, expanded our compliance coverage, and welcomed new customers and partners. Here’s a look at a few milestones along the way.

Welcoming new healthcare customers to Google Cloud

The challenges of healthcare are increasingly data challenges—creating it, storing it, and analyzing it to find meaningful insights. This year we welcomed many new healthcare customers to Google Cloud, and we’re continually inspired by how these customers use data to benefit both patients and providers. Here are a few examples:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) is bringing the power of Google Cloud to biomedical research as a part of their STRIDES (Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability) Initiative. As NIH’s first industry partner on this initiative, Google Cloud made some of the most important NIH-funded datasets available to users with appropriate privacy controls and have helped to simplify access to these datasets.
  • The BARDA DRIVe Solving Sepsis initiative is partnering with a research consortium consisting of Emory University School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, and Atlanta’s Grady Health System to leverage Google Cloud to develop interoperable learning software for early prediction of sepsis in hospital intensive care units. Now DRIVe can help develop and implement that platform to reduce the approximately 270,000 deaths from sepsis in the United States each year.
  • Hurley Medical Center is increasing operational efficiencies, reducing costs and improving patient outcomes by moving to G Suite from on-premises productivity software and email. Moving to G Suite has saved the organization $150,000 in annual software costs.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare uses G Suite to improve collaboration and efficiency, reclaiming 30% of caregivers’ time for patient interactions while reducing costs by $1.3 million over three years.
  • Imagia is leveraging GCP in its mission to help predict patient outcomes and detect disease specific markers from imaging data. With GCP, the company has reduced test processing time from 16 hours to one hour, and has improved time to discovery for researchers.
  • Wellframe uses GCP to power their platform that connects people and care teams, helping them build trusted relationships that drive early interventions. Automating care intelligence empowers Wellframe providers to scale care delivery and optimize care strategy, which has already resulted in an 80 percent increase in weekly patient care plan engagement. 

We’re excited to see how these and other organizations in the healthcare space utilize data to solve their most pressing challenges.

Working with partners for better patient outcomes

Our Google Cloud partners play a critical role in helping healthcare providers and organizations embrace and evolve their cloud strategies. Today, we are pleased to announce several new partnerships established to accelerate our commitment to data interoperability.

  • Our relationship with Health Level 7 (HL7), an international standards body for clinical data, builds upon our existing work with the FHIR Foundation to include the broader set of standards managed by the organization. Representatives from Google are joining the standards community.
  • By partnering with the SMART Advisory Council, a group designed to facilitate applications integrated directly into electronic health records, Google Cloud developers will be able to share feedback to improve the SMART specification and help maintain a robust set of tools for application designers, engineers, and users.
  • As a partner of Rock Health, an industry leader in digital health research and new venture support, we will incorporate integration requirements from novel and fast-growing companies, share best practices for scalable and compliant product development around the world, and consult with investors, industry executives, regulators, legislators, and academics shaping the future of digital health.
  • MITRE, a not-for-profit organization that operates federally funded research and development centers, is collaborating with Google Cloud to give developers access to SyntheticMass through Cloud Healthcare API and Apigee Edge. SyntheticMass is a population-level, FHIR-formatted dataset that contains realistic but fictional residents of the state of Massachusetts. It statistically mirrors the real population in terms of demographics, disease burden, vaccinations, medical visits, and social determinants, which makes it a risk-free environment for experimenting and exploring new healthcare solutions.  SyntheticMass is generated by Synthea, an open-source, synthetic patient generator that models the medical history of patients. The FHIR dataset will be made publicly available to developers soon.

We’ve also made great strides with other technology partners within the healthcare ecosystem. 

  • Novo Nordisk selected the medical-grade BrightInsight platform, which is hosted on GCP, to build and operate digital health solutions for diabetes patients and securely manage millions of its smart medical devices and the corresponding data within a regulatory-compliant environment.
  • Flywheel is integrating Google's Healthcare API, as well as BigQuery and AutoML Vision, with their platform to capture multi-modality images and data, boost the productivity of data classification, and securely collaborate with peers to manage analysis and metadata.
  • Life Image and the Athena Breast Health Network at the University of California selected Mammosphere on GCP for its breakthrough WISDOM Study to determine the optimal frequency and methods of breast cancer screening. Life Image is also using our Healthcare API to bridge the gap between care systems and applications built on Google Cloud.
  • Our partnership with Imprivata, the healthcare IT security company, makes it possible for Chrome devices to work seamlessly with Imprivata’s single sign-on and virtual desktop access platform for healthcare. This will enable secure mobile workstations and patient devices.
  • Elastifile launched Elastifile Cloud File Service, a fully-managed file storage service. With scalable, high-performance, pay-as-you-go file storage at their fingertips, healthcare organizations are empowered to burst data-intensive NFS workloads to Google Cloud for accelerated processing.

Unlocking the power of data with our products

At Google Cloud, we’re always looking to expand our healthcare product offerings—and help our customers do the same. Many organizations host datathon events as a way to collaboratively tackle data challenges and quickly iterate on new solutions or predictive models. To help, we’re announcing the Healthcare Datathon Launcher, which provides a secure computing environment for datathons. And if you want to learn how to do clinical analysis, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has just launched a Clinical Data Science specialization on Coursera, with 6 online courses, giving you hands-on experience with Google Cloud.

Additionally, we've enhanced our healthcare offerings in numerous ways over the past year, including making radiology datasets publicly available to researchers with the Google Healthcare API, and hosting over 70 public datasets from the Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) and NIH. With these datasets, researchers can quickly begin to test hypotheses and conduct experiments by running analytic workloads on GCP—without the need to worry about IT infrastructure and management. 

Helping healthcare providers meet their security and compliance needs

Security and compliance are fundamental concerns for healthcare providers, and are among Google Cloud’s topmost priorities. To date, more than three dozen Google Cloud Platform products and services enable HIPAA compliance, including Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, BigQuery, and most recently, Apigee Edge and AutoML Natural Language. In addition, Google Cloud Platform and G Suite are HITRUST CSF certified. Google Cloud is also committed to supporting compliance with requirements such as the GDPR, PIPEDA, and more. We recently published a whitepaper on Handling Healthcare Data in the UK that provides an overview of NHS information governance requirements.

This week at HIMSS, throughout speaking sessions and within our booth (#2221), we’re highlighting the inspiring ways our customers and partners are using Google Cloud to positively transform healthcare . We’ll also be sharing more on products and services we’ve designed specifically for our healthcare customers’ needs and with security and compliance top of mind. Finally, we are thrilled that Aashima Gupta, Google Cloud’s Director of Healthcare Solutions, has been recognized by HIMSS as one of 2019's most influential women in health IT for her contributions in this space. Come see her and our many other speakers throughout the event.

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