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3 Innovative Google Technologies to Watch in Health Care

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A Google subsidiary, DeepMind, has partnered with a London-based trust called the Royal Free National Health Service (NHS). The objective is to make new and better use of over one-and-a-half-million electronic patient records. [1] DeepMind has pledged to work with NHS medical facilities to provide early notice to patients who are at risk for kidney failure. How will this be achieved? Working with the British NHS, DeepMind has developed a machine learning service that can pinpoint illnesses hidden in medical images and other electronic health records.

The initiative requires a two-way commitment, where care provider organizations share electronic health records with Google Labs, and the Google subsidiary in turn ensures that patients’ records remain secure. The patient records include data regarding HIV conditions, drug overdoses, abortions, and other medical events that have taken place since 2010.

Using this kind of big data, health care administrators are starting to implement three new Google-powered technologies to help find solutions to the world’s biggest medical problems. Those Google innovations are: DeepMind, G Suite for Health Care, and Google Cloud Video API Machine Learning.

Google DeepMind Technology

Engineers have developed a software application called DeepMind using blockchain—a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. This is the same technology used by bitcoin. [2] Despite the cutting-edge thinking behind DeepMind and its vast potential, its creators are more interested in providing an effective big data analysis solution for health care providers. The technology is an auditing system that can ensure patient records remain private, accurate, and secure when care providers transmit the data to each other.

Engineers are also programming DeepMind to provide health care organizations with forensic proof of every individual who accesses a sensitive patient record. With bitcoin, blockchain provides the encryption platform that makes the currency possible. Much like bitcoin, DeepMind uses a decentralized framework to minimize the influence that any one person or action can exert on a record. However, the technology does not store patient information on a decentralized network. As applied to health care technology, DeepMind chronicles and verifies all activity surrounding electronic health records that care providers transfer over the Internet.

Google G Suite for Health Care

Google G Suite for Health Care offers a platform for storing patient records that is compliant with HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). [3] The software-as-a-service (SaaS) application also allows organizations to use Google mobile device management and encryption services to secure patient information. Health care administrators can use the resource to grant information access to employees using any device managed by the organization’s IT department. Physicians can use the service to virtually share diagnostics such as x-rays, CT scans, videos, and audio up to 5 terabytes of data. Additionally, organizations can use Google’s secured data access environment to circumvent cumbersome interfaces that often slow the sharing of electronic health and medical records.

Administrators can use Google G Suite for yet another purpose: to establish information sharing hubs that disseminate important updates, internal communications, documents, announcements, policies, and training materials. They can also use Google Sites to provide a listing of links that make it easy for health care professionals to find important information. Moreover, health care administrators can opt to publish webpages that have open access, or restrict information to authorized users.

Google Cloud Video API Machine Learning

Google engineers are working on next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to apply toward basic services such as Snapchat filters and Google Photo Search enhancements. They are also innovating advancements for self-driving vehicles and health care services. [4] However, the current top AI innovation from Google Cloud Video API Machine Learning is a new application that can identify images with remarkable detail.

The group’s Video Intelligence API software amazed attendees at a recent Google Next Cloud technology conference. The presenter displayed a brief commercial clip where the image recognition technology was able to ‘see’ and identify a dachshund. Additionally, the technology understood that the image was a commercial and not physically real.

During another demonstration, presenters executed a basic search for the word ‘beach.’ The Video Intelligence API found several beach videos and their timestamps. This is the equivalent of conducting a Google photo search and selecting the best images taken in the late afternoon. Until now, computers had no way to identify images without using text information that humans add to audio and video file tags. This new technology is freely available to developers, including software engineers who can create applications that work with medical diagnostic images.

By implementing powerful innovations such as the three Google technologies discussed in this article, health care administrators can find new ways to virtually share, identify, and leverage patient records using big data and other advancements. The overarching goal is to prevent unnecessary sicknesses and deaths. [1] In time, innovations such as these will further transform the way health care providers deliver services, treat patients, and ultimately save lives.

Learn More

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Recommended Readings

Improving Patient Care through Clinical Integration
Improving Patient Safety
Making Predictive Analytics a Routine Part of Patient Care in Hospitals


[1] The Guardian


[3] G Suite

[4] The Verge