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Google is extending its help to health systems by announcing its Healthcare APIs to be launched soon. If people widely adopt these third-party applications, patients can easily access their health information. Similarly, it can help the healthcare systems for connecting and sharing data in unification in this Covid-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, the core business of Google is to advertise by using user data and target ads which have already created criticism. Hence, it stalled a few past healthcare initiatives. Not to forget, Google is the third biggest cloud technology provider after Amazon and Microsoft.
The new Healthcare API of Google can help the healthcare system to build innovative systems for translating and converting data that is stored in different systems. These systems include imaging systems, software with medical records, and so on.
As per the documentation, the Healthcare API can be used to store and access healthcare information in Google’s Cloud. So, it bridges a gap between the current healthcare systems and apps on the Cloud. However, Google says that users are not needed to store their data in the Cloud.
Microsoft Azure, Google’s rival firm, also owns a similar healthcare API with a similar objective. It, in fact, is designed for helping out healthcare users connect to various sources including electronic records.
Authorities give 2 years to hospitals and vendors to comply with rules
In the current scenario, people are demanding the healthcare systems to share their health data with the patients. They also demand to share information about the healthcare APIs that systems use. It is because people find it very difficult to access their medical information from their doctor’s office or hospital. While some healthcare systems ask for payment for releasing the records or offer data in the form of CD-Rom or print PDFs.
To this, the Department of Health and Human Services recently released its rules to prevent healthcare systems from information blocking. The White House’s first chief officer of technology and Care Journey president, Aneesh Chopra said that vendors and hospitals have 2 years so as to comply with the newly framed rules.
Chopra also added that these rules could help increase the application marketplace for physicians, patients, and health plans. This way, everyone can get information about their health that previously were locked up.
The “Herculean Effort”
Furthermore, patients have also faced challenges in sharing their medical information to different hospitals especially those relying on different types of medical records.
Google Cloud’s product director and a doctor himself along with its health solution director Aashima Gupta notes that the new effort could turn out to be a Herculean effort to access data for different sources for health systems.
The healthcare leaders of Google Cloud say that the current pandemic demonstrates the importance of health data interoperability. It can further support different efforts underway including the new app released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This app allows information sharing from electronic records with healthcare departments. It is expected to be launched in the month of May.
In an interview, Gupta also said that Covid-19 is bringing the whole conversation of healthcare data interoperability to the frontline. She added that it has become crucial in the viewpoint of patients.
In a similar fashion, John Halamka who is Mayo Clinic’s president says that people at present are realizing the power of collaboration in order to get through the current situation. Mayo Clinic, in fact, is one of the main customers of Google Cloud. The platform’s people are working in Minnesota.