Google Cloud is relentless in its efforts to transform healthcare. This week, at one of the world’s largest healthcare innovation conferences, HLTH, the organization announced yet another step forward: the launch of three new Healthcare Data Engine (HDE) accelerators which will aim to address pertinent issues that plague healthcare delivery.
The overarching goal of these accelerators will be to utilize Google Cloud’s powerful platform to increase healthcare data accessibility, ease-of-use, and interoperability. While there is no dearth of healthcare data across the industry, solutions that enable the tangible use-cases for this data are far and few; rather, the data is often siloed in legacy systems that do not communicate with each other, buried under proprietary software and systems that are unique to respective organizations.
Google Cloud’s Healthcare Data Engine therefore aims to “Empower healthcare and life sciences leaders to make decisions from disjointed healthcare data.”
At the conference, Global Director of Google Cloud’s Healthcare Strategy and Solutions, Aashima Gupta, explained: “These accelerators, developed collaboratively with healthcare organizations, will solve a range of industry pain points, and they will unlock the truly transformative power of interoperable longitudinal patient records […] The kind of transformation needed in healthcare can be daunting and slow, but an incremental, use case-based approach breaks apart these challenges into manageable solutions that capture specific business opportunities and drive innovation.”
The three specific areas of focus for these accelerators are: improving health equity, increasing operational efficiency, and improving healthcare value.
Emerging research has undoubtedly proven the significant impact that social determinants of health (SDoH) has on a community’s healthcare outcomes. Thus, prominent healthcare organizations and companies are attempting to integrate this facet into modern care offerings. Google Cloud’s approach with its accelerator is to provide “tools to enable healthcare organizations to connect patients to community resources; support work with analytics; and dashboards to help organizations leverage social determinants of health (SDOH) datasets, and more.”
With regards to increasing operational efficiency, the accelerator is expected to provide better insights into patient flow metrics, throughput, and ultimately key indicators that can help organizations better optimize time, resources, staff, and the way patients are more efficiently served.
Finally, the company is committing to contribute meaningfully to value based care (VBC). VBC is an emerging phenomenon in healthcare, as policy leaders, healthcare experts, payors, and providers are increasingly finding challenges in the traditional fee-for-service (FFS) model. The U.S. Government, specifically the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), defines VBC as programs “that reward health care providers with incentive payments for the quality of care they give to people” with the ultimate goal of enabling “Better care for individuals, Better health for populations, [and] Lower cost.” The idea behind VBC is to shift the paradigm of healthcare outcomes to the quality of care provided rather than the quantity.
Although there is a significant amount of work yet to be done to truly perfect VBC, Google Cloud hopes that this new venture will give organizations “access to the right data to assess quality and outcomes,” and provide the “data interoperability [that] is critical to make that data useful for analytics and insights.” The ultimate vision is that the “HDE accelerator targeting value-based care will help organizations analyze trends and identify key population health metrics from combining claims and clinical data.”
Google has partnered with prominent organizations as it pilots this new venture, including Hackensack Meridian Health and Lifepoint Health.
The coming years within the realm of this technology will certainly entail significant lessons learned, growth opportunities, and further innovation. Undoubtedly, this is just the first of many promising steps in ultimately empowering better patient care and outcomes.