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Jason Wellman is bullish on Cloud’s ability to transform healthcare – here’s why

Editor’s note: As a Manager in the Infrastructure Practice of the Cloud  Professional Services Organization, Jason Wellman has had a front row seat to Google’s computing odyssey over the past 15+ years. Today, he supports Healthcare & Life Sciences customers by helping them tap into Google Cloud’s capabilities and digitally transform. Often, he says, success comes from helping customers envision a better future for themselves.  

You’ve been at the company quite awhile. 

I joined Google in 2005. I was running the server hosting for an ad agency in Dallas, when my Dad sent me a job posting at Google. I was hired into Hardware Operations where I managed teams that would  install, maintain, and decommission servers. It was like stepping off a dinghy and onto an aircraft carrier. There were vast aisles of servers, and you could barely see the end of them. Now we have multiple buildings on a campus, with significantly more advanced machines. I’ve witnessed Google on an enormous odyssey, creating new obstacles for ourselves because of our scale and growth, and overcoming them by pushing the envelope in every aspect of computing. 

How do you think that affects the way you work with customers?

I joined Google Cloud partly because I felt there were a lot of companies that I could help. Many companies are nervous about moving to the cloud, and I help them unpack that. Change is always helpful to companies, and they have to be able to envision a better future for themselves. Customers can relate to someone who understands data center environments; we talk about generators, cooling, physical, and digital security. Companies need someone who understands the new skill sets and teams they’ll need, and who can help assure them that they are on the right path.

What’s a project you are particularly proud of?

We’ve been working with one of the largest hospital systems in America to deploy Healthcare Data Engine (HDE). Say a person goes to a hospital in Oregon as John C. Smith, then years later goes to one in Utah as Jonathan Smith. How can a doctor tell that it’s the same person, and get a longitudinal view of the patient? One of the greatest challenges hospitals face today is not having all the data in one place for clinicians and doctors. This customer has more than 40 different electronic medical record (EMR) networks with many hospitals in some of them, many millions of patient records, with different formats. Once they’ve implemented HDE, they’ll be able to do things with their data, like identify high-risk patients and be more proactive in their care. We like to say “data interoperability saves lives.” Definitely a Google-scale problem, with no margin for error. And it’s important to note that privacy and security have the utmost importance in this project – Google Cloud supports HIPPA compliance and we don’t have access to personal health information.  This tech will make a real world difference in the healthcare of these patients

That’s a great example of what Professional Services Organization (PSO) can do for big customers doing big projects. What does that mean for everyone else?

PSO accelerates customers’ cloud journey and we have direct lines to engineering and product teams. When you make big business problems easier over time, you often find ways to adapt them, or make them into products and solutions that are cheaper and easier for everyone. Kubernetes, for example – it started out as a way to solve big problems inside Google, and now is available to everyone in a form that is a lot easier to run.

Why do you stay at Google?

Where would I go from here? In my opinion, for what I do, there’s nowhere as impressive. Google Cloud is a unique change engine for the world. People can buy lots of generic computing and storage, but Google is well positioned to talk about hybrid clouds and multicloud, to offer custom data analytics, AI, big system architectures, security, and more.

Google Cloud is extremely involved and aligned with where the world is going. Cloud is great at deep data analysis, artificial intelligence, security, application modernization, and more. That’s the future, and we’re at the forefront of it.

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