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March 8, 2018

How Google wants to solve your interoperability problems

Daily Briefing

    Google Cloud is launching an application designed to aggregate medical data and address the health care industry's interoperability challenges.

    The health care industry has made advances in digitizing patients' medical information, but interoperability continues to be problem. Providers often work with different types of health data—such as clinical and administrative data, EHR data, and imaging data—that are stored in different formats and places.

    About the new tool

    Google Cloud's new Cloud Healthcare application programming interface (API) aims to address those challenges by giving providers a way to centralize and organize different types of patient data and use it for analytics and machine learning. Google Cloud said the new API can ingest all of the important health care data types, including DICOM, FHIR, and HL7.

    Gregory Moore, vice president of health care Google Cloud, said providers could use the analyses to glean new insights from the data and advance patient care.

    Google Cloud said the API is currently available at select organizations, including Stanford School of Medicine, which has been using the tool to advance data interoperability. The company is demonstrating the tool at HIMSS this week, and Moore said the company plans to launch it more broadly later this year.

    "I see the impact that availability of data can have in medicine, and the need for it is urgent," Moore said.

    Google Cloud's venture will compete with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, Farr reports. Apple is working to connect users with health information as well but is doing so by allowing patients to request their medical records on their iPhone (Farr, CNBC, 3/5; Spitzer, Becker's Health IT & CIO Review, 3/5; Vijayan, eWeek, 3/5).

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