- Google Cloud unveiled generative AI capabilities aimed at solving workforce shortages, burnout and administrative burden in the healthcare and life sciences industry, the company said Monday.
- The company plans to add medically-tuned generative AI-powered search capabilities that connect to clinical notes, data from the industry-standard Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources protocol and other clinical sources within Vertex AI.
- The search capabilities work alongside Google’s healthcare-focused large language model, Med-PaLM 2, connecting to outside sources and the patient’s medical record. Customers can sign up for early access starting Monday.
In an effort to win over healthcare industry clients and capture growth, cloud providers are releasing specialized tools to help mitigate their pain points. While risk-averse and heavily regulated, the industry also increasingly depends on tech solutions.
"Healthcare is a data intensive industry with majority of the medical knowledge locked up in unstructured documents and text," said Vish Anantraman, chief technology officer for Mayo Clinic, in the announcement. The Mayo Clinic plans to use Google Cloud’s generative AI search capabilities in Vertex AI to use data to support a wide range of applications, according to Anantraman.
Microsoft has also released generative AI tools to help healthcare companies assist patients, improve scheduling procedures and power an administrative chatbot. The cloud giant entered a long-term partnership with Mercy in September to deploy Azure OpenAI Service tools, exploring more than four dozen use cases.
Oracle has joined in, aiming to tailor its services to healthcare companies. The company’s “vector database will contain highly specialized training data, like electronic health records, while keeping that data anonymized and private,” Oracle CTO and Chairman Larry Ellison said during a September earnings call for Q1 2024. The tool can help doctors improve diagnostic capabilities and treatment prescriptions, Ellison said.
Even if generative AI presents opportunities for healthcare workers and systems to become more efficient, solutions must meet rigorous security requirements. Technology leaders in the space are tracking internal governance models as well as those of the vendors they choose to partner with.
“In the AI space, and overall, we’ve been very focused on making sure we have a good governance model,” Kurt DelBene, CIO and assistant secretary for IT at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, told CIO Dive in August.
Google Cloud’s question-and-answer conversational search applications follow the same security protocols as other tools that the company has released for the healthcare industry. Customers retain control over their data with access and use of patient data protected through Google Cloud’s infrastructure and secure data storage, which supports HIPAA compliance.