Microsoft and Google have unveiled new features for their healthcare cloud products. They aim to integrate data from various sources such as EHR, lab, revenue cycle, and others, enabling organizations to develop insights from different data sets or establish standardized processes.

Health systems maintain hundreds of applications in their portfolio, which places a significant burden on staff, especially clinical teams trying to extract insights from clinical data across structured and unstructured data repositories.

Google Cloud introduced new capabilities in Vertex AI Search for healthcare and life sciences organizations. It allows them to use medically-tuned generative AI to search a wide range of data, including clinical sources like FHIR data and clinical notes.

Microsoft has presented industry-specific healthcare solutions in Fabric, allowing organizations to merge data from standalone applications. The healthcare data solutions in Fabric, currently in preview mode, streamline the process by eliminating the expensive and time-consuming task of integrating disconnected health data sources such as text, images, and video.

The first step for a healthcare CIO and the organization involves moving all their on-premise applications or application data from other cloud providers to one specific cloud provider. By doing this, the platform (Vertex AI or Fabric) can extract insights from all the diverse data sources.

Edmund Siy, Chief Digital and Information Officer at Hunterdon Health said, “Hunterdon Health transitioned to the Google Workspace platform nearly nine years ago. The impetus was to find both a modern day collaboration platform in a cost effective manner. This pragmatic journey continues today as we migrate more and more of our infrastructure onto GCP. This foundational phase will quickly transition as the basis of our data strategy.”

If your healthcare organization uses MEDITECH Expanse EHR, it already has a partnership to employ Google’s medical large language model or Med-PaLM 2. This partnership aids clinicians in gaining a deeper insight into a patient’s history.

Google aims to bring healthcare to a new level by pairing Vertex AI with Med-PaLM 2. For example, a clinician can ask questions about a patient’s condition and past medical history without reading through the notes section. Physicians can ask specific questions, such as the last critical lab values out of range in the past twelve months. This new capability will save clinicians significant time and hopefully reduce the clinical burnout prevalent in the industry.

Helen Waters, EVP and COO of MEDITECH said, “We’re already embedding Google Health’s search and summarization capabilities into our Expanse EHR and have delivered that solution to a customer; work we are collectively very proud of. We will be exploring next how the broader capability with Vertex AI Search can further empower providers and patients,” “Beyond simply synthesizing information, these capabilities can organize and surface the most important information to help overburdened care teams in their workflow.”

In conclusion, healthcare data spreads across PDFs, faxes, EHRs, diagnostic reports, and various other formats and locations, posing a search and data standardization challenge. Given their prominence in the industry, Google and Microsoft are well-positioned to tackle this challenge using their foundational search engine technology for healthcare.

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