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Google Looks to Address Interoperability Challenges in Healthcare Data with New Cloud API

Published: Mar 13,2018

Google has unveiled a new Cloud Healthcare Application Programming Interface (API) at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference & Exhibition 2018 in Las Vegas. The tool enables clients to absorb and manage multiple types of medical data on one platform. The new cloud-based API may help incentivize healthcare organizations to undergo major digitalization projects that involve multiple data types, says leading data and analytics company, GlobalData.

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The new API provides a scalable infrastructure solution and lets customers use that data for analytics and machine learning in the cloud. Designed to streamline digital transformations and improve health outcomes, the tool will provide healthcare organizations with faster access to analytics and other technologies they can use to process information more effectively and efficiently than they could in an analog environment, claims GlobalData.

The company added Google App Engine and Cloud Machine Learning Engine to its list of HIPAA-compliant GCP services, which now includes over two dozen solutions.

Amy Larsen DeCarlo, Digital Industries Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Google is already actively engaged with many industry organizations, but this tool may help incentivize healthcare organizations to undergo major digitalization projects that involve multiple data types, including Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM), Health Level 7 (HL7) and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards.

“With extensive experience in managing high volumes of data, the tech giant is well positioned to support healthcare clients dealing with vexing challenges associated with digitalization and interoperability.”

Google has already made significant headway in the sector with an expanding customer list that includes The Cleveland Clinic, Rush Medical Center and the Chilean Health Ministry.

However in a highly fragmented sector such as healthcare, the success of any API depends on how well it is designed and whether it is easy for healthcare organizations to use or not. There is also a risk that in the slew of announcements coming out of the HIMSS conference, the API introduction may fly under the radar.

DeCarlo concludes: “While Google is certainly well positioned to serve the healthcare organizations’ data management needs, it is bound to face some very well-resourced rivals including AWS, IBM and Microsoft that are also making significant inroads into the healthcare sector.”

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