Since its launch on September 4, 1998, Google has emerged to become the leading company in the technology domain.
While Google is world famous for its search engine, it has numerous other products with over one billion users, including Google Alerts, Google Assistant, Google Drive, Google Pixel, Google Glass, among many others.
Since its launch, the Mountain View-headquartered tech behemoth has revolutionized a wide range of sectors, including the healthcare sector.
Let’s take a look at how the company is transforming the healthcare sector:
In 2014, Google introduced its health, activity, and fitness tracking app named Google Fit. The app enables users to track their activity, health, fitness, and heart rate. The company developed the Google Fit in association with the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association to encourage users to integrate activity and fitness into their daily routine.
Nearly 5 percent of total searches in Google pertain to medical questions and to handle possible misinformation, the company, in 2015, developed a new feature named “health cards” in partnership with Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and physicians from Rochester.
The card appears on the desktop and mobile search in form of blue panels found on the right-hand side, top of the screen when a user searches for a medical condition.
The health cards come with illustration, symptoms, prevention, and treatment information for various diseases along with data on which age groups are more susceptible and how common the condition is. The cards also enable users to save the data into a PDF file and email it to family and friends.
Application Programming Interface
In 2016, Google acquired Apigee, a Silicon Valley-based company providing API management and predictive analytics software, for $625 million. Now, Apigee is housed under Google Cloud, where it provides APIs for a wide array for of business lines, including healthcare – the Apigee Health APIx that enables healthcare providers and payers to share data using an open data-sharing standard known as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources.
Google has ramped up its HIPAA-compliant services on the G Suite, a package of the most popular cloud-based products and services developed by Google, and Google Cloud Platform, a suite of cloud computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products. In 2018, Burlington-based Lahey Health became the largest healthcare partner of Google after completing a systemwide go-live on G Suite.
To enable simpler electric health recordkeeping in hospitals and spare the physicians the hassle of maintaining records, Google is a designing a specialized speech recognition tools for medical transcription as well as developing artificial intelligence (AI) models that forecast content that physicians may want to add to their patient notes. Both the tools are in the pilot phase.
Google Genomics, which is an extension of Google Cloud Platform, assists universities, hospitals, and other organizations working with the life science community to store, process, and organize the genomic information around the world and make it useful and accessible. Users can apply the same technologies that drive Google Maps and Google Search to store, process, explore, and share petabytes of genomic information. In 2016, Stanford Medicine in California announced its plans to introduce its clinical genomics service on Google Genomics with an aim to enhance preventive treatment for patients with rare genetic diseases and cancer.
Google AI, the research division of Google, has initiated numerous healthcare projects in recent years, exploring how predictive analytics can assist pathologists in identifying breast cancer from medical images using AI algorithms and minimizing hospital readmissions. In a recent research project, the company devised an AI algorithm that is possibly capable of predicting a patient's risk of stroke or heart attack just by using the photographs of the interior lining of the patient's eye.