How Google Cloud’s New Healthcare API help in Healthcare Sector?
Google Launched Cloud Healthcare API amid COVID-19. So What Are Its Promises?
In April this year, Google had announced the availability of the Cloud Healthcare API. It is designed to enable standardized data exchange between healthcare applications and solutions built on Google Cloud. This API provides a platform for companies to embed and manage data from a source of inputs and systems to Google Cloud’s features such as streaming data processing with Cloud Dataflow, scalable analytics with BigQuery, and machine learning with AI Platform, thus alleviating the pressure on health systems that are burdened by the COVID-19 infection. Google had launched the Cloud Health Care API over two years ago to provide customers with a robust, scalable infrastructure solution to ingest and manage key healthcare data types, including HL7, FHIR, and DICOM. At present, Google is currently the third-largest cloud tech provider, behind Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.
Google is affirmative that healthcare providers would embrace the new service, as new government mandates demand the necessity to make accessibility and usage of health data easier for patients. Google describes Cloud Healthcare API as a manageable, scalable environment for building clinical and analytics applications that support HIPAA compliance. The best feature of this is that it prevents several data loss, and provides policy and identity management tools. For instance, customers can choose the region where their data is stored, and implement practices like the principle of least privilege. Further, they can all interact with their data thanks to the API’s integration with Google’s Cloud Audit Logs. The API ships with connectors to several streaming data processing tools Google offers, viz., BigQuery, AI Platform, Dataflow, and Looker. It has the ability to automate de-identification by obfuscating or removing all sorts of personally identifiable information so that the data can be used for training and evaluating machine learning models in the future. And, if the service is adopted widely, then it could be possible to make it easier for patients to access their health information with the help of third-party apps too.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Azure has a similar health care API, designed to help its health care customers connect to sources, like electronic health records. It also made its AccountGuard cybersecurity program available to hospitals, clinics, labs, frontline providers, device manufacturers, and life sciences companies researching treatments. Even Amazon Web Services has come out with products like Amazon Comprehend Medical that is also based on machine learning for the extraction of relevant medical information from the web of unstructured text. In addition to that, under its Diagnostic Development Initiative, Amazon intends to accelerate COVID-19 diagnostics, research, and testing.
The main objective is to facilitate interoperability, security, and as mentioned earlier, patient accessibility. “People now recognize that there’s the only way to get through this period, and that is to collaborate,” added John Halamka, president of Mayo Clinic Platform. “What’s important is that this API is a toolset provided by Google that makes it easier for the doctors and the hospitals to share data. But it’s not about sending the data to Google,” he added. Google Cloud had entered a 10-year partnership with Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic the previous year in September. Since then, the health system has leveraged the tech giant’s Healthcare API to improve the capacity for and interoperability of its clinical data. According to Business Insider, Google Cloud is preparing to tap beyond the healthcare cloud computing space, which is projected to sustain nearly US$52 billion global opportunities by 2024 post-pandemic.