Google LLC has announced the general availability of a new technology that should make it easier for patients to access their own healthcare information through third-party applications.
The Google Healthcare API is a service that helps to facilitate the exchange of data between healthcare applications and services that run on Google’s cloud. It enables healthcare providers to ingest and manage data from multiple inputs and systems, and analyze that data using artificial intelligence and machine learning-based tools.
Healthcare providers are likely to embrace the new service, as new government mandates mean they’ll be required to make it easier for patients to access and use their health data, Google said. The service could also help to relieve the strain on healthcare systems that are being overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Google describes Cloud Healthcare API as a managed, scalable environment for building clinical and analytics applications that support HIPAA compliance. It said the service incorporates several data loss prevention, policy and identity management tools. So, for example, customers can select the region where their data is stored, and implement practices such as the principle of least privilege. They can also track all interactions with their data thanks to the APIs integration with Google’s Cloud Audit Logs.
The API also ships with connectors to various streaming data processing tools Google offers, including BigQuery, AI Platform, Dataflow and Looker. The API also comes with an automated de-identification capability that works by obfuscating or removing any personally identifiable information so the data can be used for training and evaluating machine learning models.
“With Cloud Healthcare API and our partner ecosystem, our goal is to make it as simple as possible for the industry to make informed, data-driven decisions, so that caregivers can focus on what matters most: saving lives,” wrote Google Healthcare and Life Sciences directors Joe Corkery and Aashima Gupta in a blog post. “With Google Cloud’s analytics and machine learning tools, you can simplify custom machine learning model training, and rapidly develop, test, and deploy production-grade ML models. You can also leverage Cloud Healthcare API’s to store the outputs of these [machine learning] models and integrate them into existing clinical workflows.”
Google said the Mayo Clinic has been using the Cloud Healthcare API for almost a year to help enable the “storage and interoperability” of its clinical data.
The launch of Cloud Healthcare API into general availability comes more than two years after it was first announced in preview.
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Credit: Google News