Tech giant Google introduced a new search function that will show consumers available appointment times for select US providers. Google also submitted to the FDA an application for the use of photoplethysmography sensors on its Fitbit wearable to help detect atrial fibrillation. Prior to this submission, the FDA had already granted Fitbit the use of an electrocardiogram app to assess heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is suffered for around 33.5 people worldwide.
Through apps and web functionalities, Google’s data collection is expected to improve its positioning in the industry by using clean, consistent databases that improve decision-making. The company’s efforts on data collection materialize in Google Cloud Healthcare Data Engine. “Enabling this next level of interoperability and empowering deep insights for real-time decision-making is what compelled us to deliver this service, 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,” explains Igor Fermin, Principal Adviser Healthcare and Life Sciences, Google Cloud Latam.
Tech giants are well capitalized to accelerate the shift to digital healthcare. They are some of the world’s biggest and most profitable cash hoarders and, according to CB Insights. To transform the healthcare market, big tech can fund moonshots, pursue acquisitions, introduce its own new solutions and services and place strategic bets in startups. Nonetheless, their role in healthcare is still expected to gain further relevance, as their capabilities allow it to. But to correctly achieve this change, these companies need a complete understanding of the operating model on health, focus on a specific segment and establish trust with the health system to capture all of the data for insight, according to online publication CIO.
Additionally, “large tech companies could be great allies for the sector and help us improve services; both sectors could complement each other. Giant tech companies have even more capabilities to meet our clients’ needs and support our services,” says Pablo Cubela, IT Director, Bupa Mexico.