At HIMSS 2018, Google, which has been signaling its interest in revolutionizing health IT for the last few years, has upped its game with a litany of updates aimed at expanding its offerings for healthcare providers.
The new offerings include a healthcare cloud application programming interface (API) that aims to address interoperability challenges with healthcare data by providing "a robust, scalable infrastructure solution to ingest and manage key healthcare data types — including HL7, FHIR and DICOM — and lets our customers use that data for analytics and machine learning in the cloud," according to a blog post. It's currently in only early access release, but the company plans to roll out API access more significantly in the coming year.
Alongside the API, Google also unveiled that it's Google App Engine and Cloud Machine Learning Engine are now HIPAA compliant. It also announced a new partnership between Flex and Google Cloud that aims to "deliver insights with customizable analytics dashboards that take advantage of our advanced machine learning and AI capabilities," the blog post states.
Signaling the growing importance of the cloud for Google's healthcare strategy, the announcement came in conjunction with a keynote speech in which former Google CEO Eric Schmidt told healthcare providers to "run to the cloud."
“Most of you sit in institutions that have proprietary data centers that have some sort of logic about them,” Schmidt said. “Most of that logic may have been true five or 10 years ago, but it isn’t today. We now have — much safer than your data center, much more compliant than your data center and much easier to use — cloud-based servers within our industry. Google has a set of offerings. Our competitors have offerings. I’d prefer you choose ours, but choose any over zero.”