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Google Cloud Rolls Out New Digital Health Solutions at HIMSS 2024

Written by : Arti Ghargi

March 13, 2024

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One of the offerings launched by Google Cloud-Vertex AI Search will enable medically tuned, gen AI search functionalities across various datasets including EHR.

Google Cloud unveiled a suite of digital health solutions on Tuesday to address key challenges in healthcare, including interoperability and the deployment of generative AI tools.

Announced at the HIMSS 2024 in Orlando, the flagship offerings introduced by Google’s Cloud division include Vertex AI Search to enable smarter search capabilities for healthcare data, new changes to the Healthcare Data Engine, and two additional capabilities in MedLM- its suite of foundation models.

The healthcare landscape in the West is grappling with escalating administrative costs, physician burnout, and nurse shortages, there is a pressing need for technologies that can alleviate these burdens.

In 2022 healthcare administrative costs touched $60 billion annually, up by 30% whereas physician burnout increased to 53% in the same year.

The company said in a statement, “This presents a clear opportunity for healthcare providers, payers, electronic health records companies, and life science companies to build gen AI solutions that empower healthcare workers and other employees to work more efficiently and effectively.”

Vertex AI: Assistive Capabilities Aided by GenAI

One of the offerings launched by Google Cloud is Vertex AI Search which, the company says, will enable medically tuned, gen AI search functionalities across various datasets, including electronic health record (EHR) data and clinical notes.

By integrating with existing platforms such as MedLM, Healthcare Data Engine (HDE), and Cloud Healthcare FHIR APIs, this solution empowers healthcare and life science organizations to build advanced data analytics and AI solutions tailored to the needs of modern health systems, Google Cloud said.

Key Features of Vertex AI Search

1. Medically tuned search capabilities

This feature will enable healthcare providers to obtain the most relevant information from EHR data and scanned documents without having to click through hundreds of pages of notes or toggle between different screens and applications.

2. Configurable cloud APIs

The company said the medically tuned search can now be directly integrated into the clinician workflow by healthcare application developers using configurable cloud APIs.

3. Question-answering and factuality

This feature will enable healthcare providers to answer complex questions regarding patient data which typically requires an understanding of medical terminology and the nuances of language in medical notes and scanned documents.

The answers generated by Vertex AI will also cite links and specific data points reducing the risk of inaccurate responses, Google Cloud claimed.

4. Data platform integration

One of the primary requirements of Gen AI search applications is high-quality data. According to the company, Vertex AI Search with HDE enables search and summarization use cases eliminating the need for custom integrations.

Its integration with MedLM will ensure that customers can find answers to questions both from MedLM and Vertex AI.

Commenting on the latest announcement, Aashima Gupta, global director, Healthcare Strategy & Solutions, Google Cloud highlighted that every generative AI is not created equal, and the stakes are particularly high in healthcare.

"Healthcare organizations require enterprise-grade gen AI solutions, grounded in real data. Vertex AI Search for Healthcare is already making a difference for healthcare organizations by helping ensure clinicians have the right information and insights at the right time to inform decisions and improve the overall quality of patient care," she noted.

Enhancement to HDE & Capability Addition to MedLM

In addition to Vertex AI Search for Healthcare, Google Cloud also announced enhancements to its Healthcare Data Engine (HDE), aimed at providing healthcare organizations with a robust data platform for the AI era.

By offering simplified management, streamlined pricing, and expanded global availability, HDE will enable more organizations to deploy, build, and manage real-time healthcare data platforms in the cloud, it said.

Moreover, Google Cloud's MedLM suite will introduce new capabilities, including MedLM for Chest X-rays.

The domain-specialized model, launched as API, will convert chest X-ray images into embeddings which developers and data scientists can use along with ground truth labels to train a simple classification model in Vertex AI.

The second new capability is called Condition Summary provides a chronological list of patient conditions, along with AI-generated briefs about each condition, with citations from the original text.

Google Cloud also said that in the coming days, it will add more capabilities to MedLM.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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