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Healthcare’s AI transformation is already underway

AI is making a powerful impact all around us, but few sectors stand to benefit as profoundly as healthcare. Doctors and nurses are already starting to use AI as a capable assistant — getting help with medical notes, for example, or using AI in medical imaging to help with disease detection. This is just the beginning of the transformational journey that will ultimately help all of us be healthier.

From research to real-world applications: Google Cloud advances its healthcare AI tools

At Google Cloud, we build AI that can lighten the load for healthcare professionals while transforming the patient experience, and to accelerate this mission, today, we announced three important advancements: the general availability of Vertex AI Search for Healthcare, now integrated with MedLM and Healthcare Data Engine (HDE); HDE international availability; and new capabilities in ​​MedLM for customers to test.

What’s new and why it matters:

Healthcare search gets smarter, and saves time: Vertex AI Search for Healthcare significantly improves how healthcare professionals and other employees find critical information within health records and medical documents. Medical information is traditionally hard to search, given complex vocabulary and abbreviations. With this tool, those nuances are understood – it’s there in one intelligent search. Plus, thanks to integration with MedLM, Google Cloud’s family of models fine-tuned for the healthcare industry, Vertex AI Search for Healthcare can generate answers to questions about the patient record, making the information easier to find and digest. With healthcare workers stretched thin, imagine all that time saved when AI summarizes records and pinpoints exactly what a clinician needs to know. Less time wasted means more time focused on patients. (Vertex AI Search for Healthcare is integrated today with HDE, and MedLM integration is available for select early access customers.)

Not just for search, but also for factuality while using large language models: Vertex AI Search uses the organization’s data to search, grounding gen AI outputs in this data to reduce the risks of hallucinations or inaccurate responses. In addition, this tool can cite and link to original, internal sources of the information, giving the user confidence in where information is coming from.

Medical understanding deepens: Vertex AI Search now integrates with MedLM, Google Cloud’s family of medically-tuned AI models and tools designed to understand complex medical language. This powerful combo gives even more context-rich answers to healthcare workers’ questions.

Healthcare-specific data platform goes global: Healthcare Data Engine (HDE), the platform healthcare and life science companies need to make healthcare data more useful, is now available in countries around the world. HDE enables an interoperable, longitudinal record of patient data, and provides clinical insights in FHIR format, the healthcare industry standard. Since AI is only as good as the data it’s using, this is a critical tool that companies all over the world can now take advantage of. 

Building a high quality data foundation becomes easier: HDE has a simplified pay-as-you-go pricing model to better align with the value customers get from the platform. We’ve also made HDE easier to deploy, upgrade, and manage by creating a managed service version of the product. And to make getting data into HDE easier, we’ve worked with Google Research to introduce a new data mapping tool called Data Mapper that brings a graphical mapping interface into the product. 

More Google Research coming to Cloud customers: Two new capabilities are coming to MedLM for early customer testing: first, MedLM for Chest X-ray, which can help with classification of chest x-rays for operational, screening, and diagnostics use cases; and second, a task-specific API called Condition Summary, which will be available soon to allowlisted customers.

Beyond the hype: healthcare leaders are transforming with this technology

Organizations like HCA Healthcare, Highmark Health, MEDITECH, Oscar Health, and Telus Health are already leveraging Google Cloud’s generative AI tools to drive meaningful change. 

HCA Healthcare is collaborating with Google Cloud to streamline documentation processes, easing the workload for doctors and nurses. Highmark Health is exploring ways to enhance personalized care delivery for members through AI-powered insights. MEDITECH has integrated AI into its EHR system to improve data search and summarization capabilities and is now working with Google Cloud to support the auto-generation of clinical documentation at critical points in clinician workflow. 

Meanwhile, Oscar Health is leveraging AI to reduce confusion, simplify experiences, and improve satisfaction for consumers and providers. This includes streamlining processes that have historically made the healthcare experience cumbersome, including common friction points like claim denials and referrals. And, Telus Health combined a strong data foundation with search and other gen AI tools to put its healthcare data to work for nearly 70 million lives it serves worldwide.

Vertex AI Search is also driving a significant impact for life sciences companies. Insmed Incorporated, a global biopharmaceutical company on a mission to transform the lives of patients with serious and rare diseases, began collaborating with Google Cloud in 2023 to harness the power of gen AI to reduce the time and increase the efficiency of developing and delivering much-needed medicines. 

Using Vertex AI Search with external data, Insmed has transformed the way it uses PubMed, a free and widely-used resource supporting the search and retrieval of life sciences literature. A typical search for information on a disease or area of treatment takes considerable time as users sift through multiple retrieved results. With Vertex AI Search-enabled capability, Insmed users now receive a generative response that curates the most relevant information and gives readers a grounded summarization of what they’re looking for. The result is far more tailored than what a traditional search would yield, and also includes specific articles and links. This contextual approach to search has the potential to create efficiencies throughout the research and development process.

In addition, Insmed’s Market Research group is using Vertex AI Search to rapidly search, retrieve, and summarize information from presentations and finalized research reports. The team can now quickly cull through vast amounts of internal data to answer a specific question and have the appropriate reference at their fingertips. Looking beyond Market Research, Insmed is embarking on a proof of concept to enable enterprise search using all company wide data. powered by Vertex AI Search.

These examples demonstrate how generative AI is moving beyond theoretical benefits into tangible improvements within the healthcare industry. As these advances roll out globally, they hold the potential to transform healthcare organizations and systems worldwide.

Focusing on what matters most

From research to real-world applications, Google Cloud’s advancements hold the promise of easing the burdens on healthcare workers and improving patient outcomes. By supporting human expertise with AI-powered tools, we move closer to a future where personalized, data-driven care is accessible to everyone, and where healthcare professionals can focus on what matters most – the well-being of their patients.

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