Google takes health care to the cloud with new API, partnerships

Google Cloud is expanding its role in the health care sector, which accounts for more than one-sixth of the US economy.

Google on Monday outlined steps it's taking to usher the health care industry to the cloud, including a new Cloud Healthcare API, more HIPAA-compliant products and new partnerships.

Technologies like cloud computing, AI and IoT are expected to have a major impact in the coming years on the health care sector -- a sector that already accounts for more than one-sixth of the US economy. Google's goal for the sector is "very much a reflection of Google's overall mission," according to Greg Moore, VP of healthcare for Google Cloud, "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

With that in mind, Google recently launched the Cloud Healthcare API to help health care organizations manage a variety of data types and use it all for analytics and machine learning. It's currently available in an early access release, and Google will roll it out to more customers and partners over the next year.

Google is also expanding its products that are compliant with HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) to include Google App Engine and Cloud Machine Learning Engine. There are now more than two dozen GCP services that are compliant with the US regulatory requirements.

The Silicon Valley company also recently announced a partnership with the supply chain company Flex, to provide the health care sector with analytics dashboards that deliver machine learning and AI capabilities. Flex's new managed services platform, called BrightInsight, will be running on Google Cloud Platform. It's designed to support CE-marked and FDA-regulated medical devices.

A number of other companies have partnered with Google in the health care sector, including Kanteron Systems, which is using GCP to bring telegenomics to its Precision Medicine Platform. Meanwhile, Google's Chrome OS is part of a collaboration with Healthcast and Citrix that aims to provide a better approach to data access.

Some big customers that Google's Greg Moore cited include M*Modal, the Chilean Health Ministry and the Cleveland Clinic.

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