Google Cloud to introduce Healthcare Data Engine for interoperability

Google Cloud has announced the private preview of a new solution – called the Healthcare Data Engine – which it says will enable interoperability by ‘harmonising’ longitudinal patient records to improve care, research, and procedures.

Described as an ‘end-to-end solution for healthcare and life sciences organisations’ which brings together data, such as information from medical records, claims, clinical trials, and research, from multiple sources, the engine is intended to help healthcare leaders, researchers, and clinicians gain real-time information and ‘holistic views’ of patient records. While it will also provide advanced analytics and AI in a ‘secure’ and ‘scalable’ cloud environment.

The new Healthcare Data Engine will extend the core capabilities of the Google Cloud Healthcare API, and aims to make available data ‘more useful’ by enabling an interoperable record of patient data, according to the company, in areas such as resource utilisation, optimising clinical trials, accelerating research and identifying high-risk patients.

The tool can ‘map more than 90% of HL7v2 messages to FHIR’ (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) such as medication orders or patient updates—across electronic health records, to help customers ‘get up-and-running quickly’ and avoid the need to ‘translate between data schemas’. It also is said to allow the utilisation of Google BigQuery’s analytics and artificial intelligence, with the overall aim of helping healthcare providers to process their own data and focus on improving population health.

Joe Corkery M.D., Director of Product Management, Google Cloud, said: “As we are keenly aware from the pandemic, access to the right information, at the right time, is critical to saving lives. We built Healthcare Data Engine to make it easier for healthcare and life sciences organisations to bring together their data silos to innovate and improve health outcomes.”

Interoperability has been a recurring theme across many of HTN’s conversations with health tech professionals and industry partners during the past few years. Earlier this year, we spoke to Tony Corkett and Neil Taber from the health IT consultancy Cloud21, to find out what organisations should be aware of when moving towards interoperability, and – in a separate feature – discussed the challenges of implementing interoperability in the NHS with the team from Healthcare Gateway.

At healthcare provider level, we also continue to see organisations push a more ‘joined-up’ agenda, with examples such as the Digital Health and Care Wales’ Welsh Admin Portal now linking up with English hospitals across the border and GPs being able to easily access digital genetic test results for urgent cancer patients via the Welsh Clinical Portal.

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