There were a lot of interests in Google’s collaboration with Ascension. Health is personal and your health information should be private to you and the people providing your care. That’s why Google needs to clarify that their teams are doing well and pointed out how it will help your healthcare providers and you. Doctors and nurses care about their patients but aren’t always equipped with the tools they need to thrive in their mission. The average U.S health system has 18 electronic medical record systems. Doctors and nurses feel like they are data clerks instead of healers. Google has spent at least 2 decades on similar issues for consumers, building products such as Search, Translate, and Gmail. So, the company is building an intelligent suite of tools to help doctors, nurses, and other providers take better care of patients.
One of those tools designed to make health records more useful, more accessible, and more searchable by pulling them into a single, easy-to-use interface for doctors. Now, Ascension is the first partner Google is working with the frontline staff to pilot this tool. It is noteworthy that this effort is challenging because health information is incredibly complex. The healthcare IT systems also don’t talk well to each other and this keeps doctors and nurses from taking the best possible care of you. The policymakers and regulators around the world have called this out as an important issue. Google is well committed to helping, so the company is building this system on interoperable standards.
The system must operate on patients’ records to deliver such a tool to providers. The company’s work adheres to strict regulations on handling patient data and Google’s Business Associate Agreement with Ascension ensures their patient data can’t be used for any other purpose than for providing only services, but it will never be used for advertising. Google also published a white paper about how customer data is encrypted and isolated in the cloud. Members of the search giant team might come to contact with identifiable patient data to ensure that the company’s tools are safe and secure for Ascension doctors and nurses treating real patients.