Apr 01 2024

How Healthcare Is Tapping Google Pixel to Improve Clinical Efficiency

Compelling features for end users and administrators alike have made Google Pixel smartphones an attractive option for the healthcare enterprise.

The Google Pixel smartphone has evolved significantly since its first generation was released in October 2016. Today’s Pixel 8 has double the memory and storage of the Pixel 1, along with stereo sound (instead of a speaker), a display that’s 1.2 inches larger, and much more.

Beyond specs that impress consumers, though, Google increasingly positions Pixel products as enterprise devices. Pixel 8 Pro supports biometric authentication and is compatible with Wi-Fi 7. It also natively runs a version of Google’s generative artificial intelligence large language model; known as Gemini Nano, the model can summarize conversations and recommend text message replies without an internet connection.

Pixel Tablet, meanwhile, supports ultra-wideband technology, which is valuable for real-time location and asset tracking. A range of features — fast charging,1 built-in security, Gemini Nano, and a Thermometer app2 that’s been granted marketing authorization from the Food and Drug Administration — appeal to healthcare organizations.

“Pixel is the entry point to the business experience with Google,” says Jacqueline Jang, Pixel enterprise sales, head of healthcare and life sciences, strategic accounts at Google. “Pixel can come to the table and add solutions, not just devices. Enterprises gain access to Google’s end-to-end portfolio.”

DISCOVER: Google can transform clinical workflows and administrative tasks.

The Google Pixel’s Tensor Chipset Is Optimized for AI

The Google technology stack covers six core areas, Jang notes: AI, the cloud, applications, the Android operating system, the family of Pixel devices and Google’s proprietary chipset.

The Google Tensor chip was released in 2021 with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones. New versions of the chip have been released with the Pixel 7 and Pixel 8, with Google Tensor G3 powering the Pixel 8. (Tensor G2 is included with the Pixel Tablet.)

The Tensor chip positions Pixel as “the focal point for the Google AI experience,” Jang says. This includes voice assistant functionality, productivity applications and Live Translate,3 which covers nearly 49 languages and could prove useful in a clinical setting as an interpreter. “Given the growing use of generative AI, enterprises need someone who knows how to use it end to end,” Jang says.

The application of AI isn’t limited to software. Jang says Pixel devices also use Tensor to improve the hardware experience. One example is adaptive charging,4 which monitors how and when a device is used to delay fully charging a battery. (Without adaptive charging, a device plugged in for hours will fully charge to 100 percent, revert to battery usage, and then charge from 99 percent to 100 percent continually until it’s unplugged.) This prolongs the battery life, allowing organizations to keep devices in circulation longer.

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Bulk Management and Deployment Lead to ROI for Healthcare

According to Jang, one important value proposition of Pixel for Business has been ease of management and deployment.

Healthcare organizations can bulk-deploy devices with preloaded applications from Google or other business partners, including Microsoft, Salesforce and clinical decision-support tools such as Epocrates and UpToDate. Notably, Pixel devices come without the unauthorized bloatware often found on devices aimed at the consumer market, Jang says.

Additionally, devices can be set up with separate profiles for personal and professional use; for professionals, an organization could create a white-label store of curated apps for internal use only. There’s also a kiosk mode, which healthcare organizations may find helpful for patient check-in or bill payment or even for remote patient monitoring.

Google’s periodic Feature Drops5 for Pixel also apply to healthcare, Jang says, and benefits organizations by enabling them to roll out new features on older phones. (Pixel devices have routinely supported later versions of Android than what they originally shipped with.) Similarly, Pixel 8 and 8 Pro phones receive security updates for seven years.6

“The ability to keep devices updated reduces the security risk,” says Jang, who also points to Google’s ability to block more than 99 percent of spam and phishing attempts from reaching users’ inboxes.

All told, a recent Forrester analysis showed a 209 percent ROI for the average organization deploying Pixel for Business. Fast setup, including no need to remove bloatware, saves IT teams 20 minutes per device over three years — a number that quickly adds up when thousands of devices are deployed. Organizations responding to Forrester also cited Pixel’s lower price point and enhanced productivity (which includes Feature Drop and security updates over 5 years to lengthen product lifespans), coupled with Google’s enterprise support, as key contributors to ROI.

RELATED: Create healthcare workspaces that support clinicians and patients.

Clinical Use Cases Emphasize Mobility, Care at Home

To date, Google has supported a range of clinical use cases for Pixel:

  • Mobile access to electronic health record systems, such as Epic Rover, can help clinical staff — especially traveling nurses — access patient information and stay connected with other members of the care team.
  • Google Assistant7 has helped organizations summarize clinical documents. When paired with voice-based interfaces, users can also dictate notes or emails.
  • Hospitals have given discharged patients a Google Pixel Watch to help track physical activity, along with a Pixel Tablet to help them access post-surgery checklists and, if necessary, launch a video visit with a member of their care team.

According to Jang, there are four primary value propositions for healthcare organizations: an improved patient experience, less time for clinicians to spend on documentation, a decreased security risk through routine updates and dedicated resources for enterprise-level support. “We look at it as a long-term partnership,” she says.

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Google and Pixel are trademarks of Google LLC.

1Compared to earlier Pixel phones. Fast wired charging rates (up to 27W on Pixel 8 and up to 30W on Pixel 8 Pro) are based upon use of the Google 30W USB-C® Charger plugged into a wall outlet. Actual results may be slower. Adapters sold separately.
2The Pixel Thermometer app has been granted marketing authorization by the FDA. See De Novo classification.
3Not available in all languages or countries. Not available on all media or apps. See g.co/pixel/livetranslate for more information.
4For “over 24 hours”: Estimated battery life based on testing using a median Pixel user battery usage profile across a mix of talk, data, standby, and use of other features. Average battery life during testing was approximately 31 hours. Battery testing conducted on a major carrier network. For “Up to 72 hours”: Estimated battery life based on testing using a median Pixel user battery usage profile across a mix of talk, data, standby, and use of limited other features that are default in Extreme Battery Saver mode (which disables various features including 5G connectivity). Battery testing conducted on a major carrier network. For both claims: Battery testing conducted in California in mid 2023 on pre-production hardware and software using default settings, except that, for the “up to 72 hours” claim only, Extreme Battery Saver mode was enabled. Battery life depends upon many factors and usage of certain features will decrease battery life. Actual battery life may be lower.
5Not available for all camera apps or modes.
6Pixel updates for 7 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the US. See g.co/pixel/updates for details.
7Not available in all languages or countries. See g.co/pixel/googleassistant for details Based on tap and voice typing in English. Voice typing is not available in all languages or countries.
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