- Google Cloud launches an AI-driven tool to help healthcare professionals easily access medical records.
- The tool can pull information from varied sources like clinical notes and electronic health records into one unified platform.
- Despite its potential, some organizations, such as Mayo Clinic, are implementing the tool cautiously, starting with administrative tasks.
October 10, 2023: Google Cloud recently revealed an innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tool designed to assist healthcare professionals in swiftly retrieving crucial clinical data from various medical records.
A major concern in the health sector is the scattered nature of medical information, often spread across multiple systems and formats.
This AI tool by Google Cloud promises to consolidate this scattered data, allowing doctors to easily pull details from clinical notes, scanned documents, and electronic health records, making it accessible in a single location.
According to Google, these advancements aim to alleviate health-care workers’ workload, saving them both time and energy. Lisa O’Malley, senior director of product management for Cloud AI at Google Cloud, highlighted the tool’s capability to generate detailed patient histories from a single query.
For example, doctors can search for a patient’s medication history over the past year and obtain all relevant details in one consolidated view.
Furthermore, these search features have potential applications beyond patient history retrieval, including correctly applying billing codes and determining patient eligibility for clinical trials.
As technology advances, the blending of physical and emotional aspects becomes more apparent. For instance, AI-driven tools are transitioning from texting interfaces to more interactive platforms where pictures can be shared.
For many healthcare workers, the bureaucratic aspect of their job is demanding. Research funded by the American Medical Association revealed that physicians spend two hours on administrative tasks for every hour spent with a patient.
A significant number also spend extra hours on clerical work outside of their standard working hours. This increased workload has resulted in a rise in physicians reporting feelings of burnout, with a jump from 42% in 2018 to 53% in 2022.
Aashima Gupta, global director of health care strategy and solutions at Google Cloud, emphasized the integration of the Vertex AI Search capabilities into a clinician’s daily routine.
The gradual adoption of newer technologies in health care, coupled with a desire not to disrupt established routines, has kept the industry somewhat resistant to change. Google’s new tools, while promising, must navigate these challenges.
Early access to Vertex AI Search for health care and life sciences is now available, with organizations like Mayo Clinic, Hackensack Meridian Health, and Highmark Health already testing its capabilities.
The latter, Highmark Health, has reported positive initial reactions, but both they and Mayo Clinic emphasize careful, deliberate deployment.
Compliance and patient trust are paramount. Google Cloud has confirmed that they will not access customer data or utilize it for model training.
Their new tool meets the standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Gupta expressed optimism for the future, highlighting AI’s potential to bridge gaps in patient care, transforming the often fragmented healthcare experience into a more cohesive one.