How Google is helping advance medical technology

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Over the years, medical science has seen tremendous progress. However, there is always room for improvement and this time around, doctors and nurses have access to devices, applications and platforms powered by advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, machine learning, to improve their abilities in several ways. Here’s a look at tech giant Alphabet, Inc.’s (GOOG, GOOGL) efforts in health and wellness.

The trillion dollar healthcare market and its challenges show that there is immense capacity to harness advanced technologies. Health spending in the United States, which currently stands at about $ 3.67 trillion, according to the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is expected to reach $ 5.69 trillion d ‘by 2026. Deloitte estimates that global healthcare spending is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4.1% in 2017-2021, compared to just 1.3% in 2012-2016. The main factors behind this increase are the growing elderly population, the expansion of the developing market, advances in medical treatment and rising labor costs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) database reveals that more than 45% of its member states report having less than one doctor per 1,000 inhabitants. While one study shows that primary care physicians spend more than half of their workday interacting with the EHR during and after clinic hours. This further reduces the time for face-to-face interaction with the patient.

On the other hand, the rapid increase in the elderly population highlights the need for better medical infrastructure and for more doctors and other health workers. According to the United Nations, 13% of the world’s population was aged 60 or over globally in 2017. The number of people aged 60 or over is expected to more than double by 2050.

Here are some of the projects and initiatives within the health space by Alphabet and its subsidiaries. “Healthcare is moving more and more to the cloud, and the adoption of machine learning will enable the industry to unlock information that can lead to meaningful clinical improvements for patients,” wrote Gregory J. Moore MD, PhD, vice president of healthcare, Google Cloud.

To address interoperability challenges in healthcare data, Google has launched a new version of its Cloud Healthcare API that provides a robust and scalable infrastructure solution to manage major types of healthcare data (including HL7, FHIR and DICOM). While Google’s Apigee Health APIx makes it easy for developers and healthcare companies to create new services based on the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) API in addition to their existing health record systems in a secure and compliant manner. .

To ensure ease of operations for its customers, Google offers Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance for its G Suite and Cloud offerings. “Under HIPAA, certain information about a person’s health or health care services is classified as Protected Health Information (PHI). “

To reduce the time and effort spent entering data into EHRs and give physicians more time to interact with patients, Google is working on tools such as specialized speech recognition for medical transcription to create AI-enabled “note writing templates” that can help physicians add notes to patients.

Google Fit, a health tracker app for everyday use. Google has engaged with the WHO and the American Heart Association (AHA) to understand simple but effective ways to stay active and healthy. Two of his areas of focus are “minutes of movement and heart points”.

In 2014, Calico (formerly known as Google Life Sciences) and AbbVie (ABBV) teamed up to focus on new therapies for patients with age-related conditions such as neurodegeneration and cancer. In January of this year, the companies announced the extension of their collaboration for three years. The initial budget of $ 1.5 billion will be funded by an additional $ 500 million.

In April 2018, Verily (a subsidiary of Alphabet) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) teamed up to identify and understand the immunological and molecular factors leading to inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and diseases related to lupus. Earlier in December 2017, DeepVariant, a technology that uses a deep neutral array to reconstruct the true genome sequence from data from the HTS sequencer, was released by Verily and Google Brain.

In August of this year, DeepMind (acquired in 2014) and Moorfields Eye Hospital announced the results of their partnership to explore the use of AI technology for clinicians. The result describes how machine learning is applied to identify signs of eye disease using scans; “The AI ​​system can recommend the correct baseline decision for over 50 eye diseases with 94% accuracy, which matches the world’s top eye experts.”

In another project, deep learning is applied to achieve clinically applicable segmentation of the head and neck anatomy for radiation therapy. Additionally, DeepMind works with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to work on deaths resulting from the deteriorating health of hospital patients.

DeepMind’s Streams app is already in use at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. The app sends immediate alerts to clinicians and directs them to patients with signs of a serious condition called acute kidney injury (AKI). The DeepMind health team will join the new Google Health division led by Dr David Feinberg.

Alphabet led the way with 186 health-related patents between 2013 and 2017, according to an E&Y report. With years of research, investment, projects underway, and now the newly structured healthcare division, Google is among the leading tech players who are poised to establish new revenue streams while unlocking the potential of these new technologies. cutting edge for the health sector.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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