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Google Cloud Health IT Tool Set to Boost Interoperability, Streamline Data

Google Cloud has announced a private preview of a new health IT tool that streamlines data from disparate sources to improve interoperability.

Google Cloud has announced a private preview of its Healthcare Data Engine, a health IT solution that builds on the core capabilities of the Google Cloud Healthcare API and streamlines data from disparate sources for enhanced interoperability.

Healthcare Data Engine will provide healthcare stakeholders with real-time access to longitudinal patient health data comprised of medical records, claims, clinical trials, and research data.

The health IT solution builds on the core capabilities of the Google Cloud Healthcare application programming interface (API) to provide stakeholders with clinical insights in FHIR format, the industry standard.

With access to this data, care organizations will be able to leverage advanced analytics and artificial intelligence in a secure, scalable cloud environment to improve real-time decision making, Google Cloud representatives said.

"As we are keenly aware from the pandemic, access to the right information, at the right time, is critical to saving lives," Joe Corkery, MD, Google Cloud director of product management, said in a public statement. "We built Healthcare Data Engine to make it easier for healthcare and life sciences organizations to bring together their data silos to innovate and improve health outcomes."

Healthcare Data Engine can map more than 90 percent of HL7v2 messages, such as medication orders or patient updates, to FHIR across leading EHRs, Google said.

The tool also leverages Google BigQuery's analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, which the tech giant said can allow care organizations to analyze petabytes of their own patient data to inform population health initiatives.

Mayo Clinic has worked with Google Cloud to bring data in from disparate sources, streamline it to FHIR format, and analyze it using BiqQuery.

"We were hitting a wall with our ability to innovate on-prem,” explained Jim Buntrock, vice chair of information technology at Mayo Clinic. “By moving to the cloud, we're able to build tools more easily, at scale, in a way that takes advantage of technological advancements in security and privacy to remain at the forefront in data protection.”

With this process now automated, what used to take weeks can be done in an hour, Google Cloud representatives noted. This could allow Mayo Clinic's experts to focus on improving patient care rather than managing health IT tools.

"From creating better ways to care for patients remotely even after they leave the hospital to making it easier for patients to interact with us via mobile app, we're working alongside Google Cloud to build a platform for healthcare transformation,” Buntrock continued.

Implementation partners Deloitte, Maven Wave, Quantiphi, and SADA will aid healthcare organizations in the deployment of Healthcare Data Engine at scale.

Software vendor partners like Mathematica are deploying applications integrated with Healthcare Data Engine.

"With the accelerating transition to value-based care, providers and health plans need timely, actionable information about patients' gaps in care, particularly in patients with chronic diseases where information often resides across different facilities and is hard to follow over time," explained Matt Gillingham, vice president and CTO of Mathematica Health Practice.

"Enabling a longitudinal patient record across the health system network in near real-time allows gaps in care to be identified and addressed, improving patient experiences and outcomes,” Gillingham noted.

Recent research conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Google Cloud found that nearly 9 in 10 physicians (87 percent) believe interoperability should be a greater priority at their healthcare organizations than it is right now.

Additionally, 95 percent of physicians said that access to more complete patient health records allows them to diagnose patients more quickly and accurately. The survey also found that most physicians agree that they could provide more patient-centered care if they could reduce the time spent on clinical review and documentation by just 5 percent.

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