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Google enters into a deal with Ascension on healthcare data and cloud computing

Google enters into a deal with Ascension on healthcare data and cloud computing

  • Ascension is the largest Catholic health system in the world and the largest non-profit health system in the United States

Google had signed its biggest cloud computing deal with Ascension in healthcare domain. This deal is expected to help Google leverage niche Artificial Intelligence tools while getting access to large Ascension data-sets. Artificial Intelligence in today’s time is the most sought after skill set as it enables to emulate humans activity in performing various tasks.

Google and Ascension together operates more than 150 hospitals and senior citizens facility homes. As a part of this deal, Ascension will be moving some of its data-sets and analytics tools across Google’s servers.

This deal had however earlier invited some apprehensions which was also reported on Wall Street Journal that Google would gain access to health related information of millions of Americans. The information includes lab results, doctor diagnoses, hospitalisation records, patient names, date of birth. In short complete health history of patients would be accessed by Google.

Ascension “are the stewards of the data, and we provide services on their behalf,” wrote Tariq Shaukat, president for industry products and solutions at Google Cloud. Ascension replied that this deal is in accordance with the policies laid down by Health Insurance Profitability and Accountability Act(HIPPA) which safeguards medical information.

Google Cloud Chief Executive Officer Thomas Kurian said that its his first priority to pursue business in various sectors including health care. Earlier also Google gained business from other health care clients like Colorado Centre for Personalised Medicine.

It is being believed that Cloud business is a low margin sector. Google Cloud however said that it will be leveraging high margin AI tools which differentiates it from arch competitors like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Ascension is hopeful of improving its clinical effectiveness using various Artificial Intelligence tools.

Google is already spending a lot of time using Artificial Intelligence tools to analyse MRI scans as well as other patient medical history to identify diseases and predict possible outcomes. An early detection of disease also helps in reducing treatment costs and time.

This deal is also in-line with Google’s decision to acquire Fitbit Inc for $2.1 billion with a vision to enter wearable segment and digital health.

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