Google inks healthcare data, cloud computing deal with Ascension

November 12, 2019 09:35
Google has landed its biggest cloud computing customer in the healthcare space. Photo: Reuters

Google has sealed a cloud computing deal with US healthcare services provider Ascension, a partnership that could help the tech giant further develop artificial intelligence tools related to the segment.

The partnership will explore artificial intelligence and machine learning applications to help improve clinical effectiveness as well as patient safety, Reuters reports, citing a statement from Ascension.

The deal comes as Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian has made it a priority to aggressively chase business from leaders in six industries, including healthcare.

Google previously had touted smaller healthcare clients, such as the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine.

The tech behemoth has spent several years developing artificial intelligence to automatically analyze MRI scans and other patient data to identify diseases and make predictions aimed at improving outcomes and reducing cost.

Ascension, which operates 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities across United States, said the partnership is in compliance with the US data privacy act HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which safeguards medical information.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Google was teaming up with Ascension to collect personal health-related information of millions of Americans across 21 states.

The data involved in the project includes lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, according to the report.

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