Igor Fermin
Principal Adviser Healthcare and Life Sciences
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Cloud Infrastructure for Every Health Provider

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 02/11/2022 - 16:49

Q: How are Google Cloud’s services propelling the use of tech and digitalization for the healthcare sector?

A: One of the main goals of Google Cloud in the health industry, both in Latin America and globally, is to contribute to creating healthier lives. We create solutions that help our customers and partners in all regions to accelerate their unique digital transformation skills through the power of data.

With that in mind, many of our investments are targeted at strengthening various processes in the sector, among which are areas of electronic health record (EHR) management, medical imaging, genomics data management, as well as allowing physicians to quickly search through complex patient information.

On the other hand, we also allocate resources to promote new ways of presenting health services, such as remote care and the adoption of technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), through personalized solutions for the medical industry. This allows health institutions to provide high-quality services to end users, meeting their needs, regardless of where they are.

Q: Google Cloud services range from direct patient-use to supply chain continuity. How is the company able to adapt its services to the entire health chain?

A: When you look at the health industry, you realize that it is extremely complex and rich in technological terms, with many innovations in treatments, devices, care processes and now also in software.

According to analyst firm MarketsandMarkets, the healthcare cloud market is estimated to grow 43 percent between 2020 and 2025 to nearly US$65 billion, driven by the need for better technology infrastructures and a faster digital transformation. Google Cloud has a broad ecosystem of technology partners that have the ability to accelerate the digital transformation of health companies through experts who offer professional services to deploy and develop technology, as well as specific solutions tailored to the needs of the organization.

In the healthcare and life sciences industry, our Google Cloud partners are instrumental in building and deploying key healthcare innovations regionally and globally.

Q: What challenges do the Mexican healthcare and life sciences sectors face when introducing interoperability services?

A: More than limiting it to one country, within the health and life sciences sectors the great challenge is to obtain the correct, valuable information, which requires significant time and resources with expertise in AI and ML. Fluency is also required to speak many health data languages ​​natively. Patients, medical devices and caregivers are generating vast amounts of medical data all the time in many different languages or using different clinical terminologies and schemes. Additionally, that data is often spread across multiple instances of EHRs, inhibiting holistic insights. By the time data is available and translated, it is often 36 hours or even a week out of date, losing its reliability.

These are not new challenges, but they are now broader as organizations need to also offer a level of scale, privacy and governance never seen before. Enabling this next level of interoperability and empowering deep insights for real-time decision-making is what compelled us to deliver the Healthcare Data Engine, a solution that is capable of delivering deeper insights, distributing it to the right people and then making better real-time decisions, supported by the highest levels of security, compliance and respect for user privacy.

Q: What security guidelines and frameworks does Google Cloud implement to protect the data handled and generated by your services?

A: Protecting health-related information, as well as personal data, is a priority for us and we have multiple layers of controls in place to help customers ensure the privacy and protection of their data. At Google, we provide a secure and compliant infrastructure that makes it possible to comply even with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for customers who are requested to do so. Google Cloud configures and secures the environment and built applications but companies are responsible for ensuring compliance.

Q: How is Google Cloud responding to new care trends, such as home care?

A: Home care offerings are critical to increasing patient access to care. Healthcare institutions can leverage chatbots and our AI contact center solution to address patients' information needs and reduce pressure on their healthcare contact centers. On the other hand, we have also witnessed how Nest Hubs create new capabilities for healthcare providers to offer care, treatment and disease management at home.

In Latin America, there are very particular cases of how Google Cloud supports countries looking to boost telehealth. An example is the Chilean Ministry of Health, which in 2017 began implementing a national API-based architecture, powered by our Apigee tool, to facilitate everything from smoother public-private partnerships to enabling broader use of services, such as telemedicine, and rapidly improving the well-being of its millions of citizens and visitors. Among the benefits is that it helps professionals across Chile's network of healthcare systems access patient information throughout the care cycle, while avoiding unnecessary travel and transfers while under medical care.

Another interesting case comes from the Brazilian startup Portal Telemedicina, which provides medical care to more than 33 million patients in 280 cities in Brazil and Angola using IoT telemetry and an AI-assisted diagnostic platform using Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Also noteworthy is the alliance between Google Cloud and the Keralty organization in Colombia, which seeks to implement an interoperability model that gives healthcare institutions, insurers, specialists and patients access to all their healthcare data in one place, which will not only streamline processes but also prevent complications.

 

Google Cloud is a suite of cloud computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products. Google Cloud’s health-specific products and solutions enable life science organizations to bring treatments to patients faster and to operate more efficiently.

Photo by:   Google Cloud
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst