Google struck a deal to access patient records from the healthcare company HCA, which Runs 181 hospitals and over 2,000 healthcare sites in 21 states.
So the tech company can develop healthcare algorithms, according to For reports The Wall Street Journal.
Google stores anonymous data from patient health records and medical devices connected to the Internet.
This data is used to build programs that can inform medical decisions made by clinicians.
The Wall Street Journal described the deal as being multi-year, without specifying the number of years.
As health records have been digitized over the past few years, hospitals and technology companies have looked for opportunities to take advantage of the abundance of digital medical information gathered in every doctor’s visit.
Microsoft and Amazon also work with hospitals to analyze their patient information.
Google and Healthcare:
Google previously partnered with healthcare system Ascension to collect patient records in a secret project called Project Nightingale.
The company was criticized for starting the project without disclosing the work to patients and doctors.
And HCA is a big plus for Google, given that its facilities handle 5 percent of the hospital services provided in the United States – about 30 million interactions with patients each year.
Besides using this data to develop algorithms, Google could also independently create healthcare tools and then pass them on to HCA for testing on their own.
We want to push the boundaries of what a doctor can do in real time with data, ”Chris Saklowski, managing director of healthcare and life sciences at Google Cloud, told the Wall Street Journal.
Healthcare privacy laws in the United States allow hospitals to share information with contractors.
It allows researchers to analyze patient data without the explicit permission of those patients.
Healthcare companies can use this information in any way they see fit, including increasing profits.
HCA generated $ 3.75 billion in profit during 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
In February, NNU said the company was prioritizing income over patient and employee safety.
NNU reported staff shortages and cuts in personal protective equipment.