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Google Cloud Adds New Features to Vertex AI Search for Healthcare and Life Science Companies

New features combine generative AI capabilities with medically-tuned search for healthcare and life sciences data, including electronic health records

Today at HLTH ’23, Google Cloud announced new capabilities in Vertex AI Search for healthcare and life sciences organizations that enable medically-tuned generative AI (gen AI) powered search on a broad spectrum of data including clinical sources, such as FHIR data and clinical notes. It will do this by integrating with Google Cloud’s Healthcare API and Healthcare Data Engine, as well as with Google Health’s search and intelligent summarization capabilities from its pilot product called Care Studio. Google Cloud customers can sign-up now for early access to Vertex AI Search features for healthcare and life sciences to try out and share feedback.

Vertex AI Search tuned for healthcare and life sciences will help solve acute and growing problems of workforce shortages, provider burnout and administrative burden. Administrative costs in 2022 alone increased by $18 billion, a 30% increase in just one year, to reach $60 billion annually (CAQH). Additionally, within the next five years, the United States faces a projected shortage of more than 3.2 million frontline healthcare workers, such as medical assistants, home health aides, and nursing assistants (Mercer). Vertex AI Search features for healthcare and life science companies will help alleviate some of the administrative burdens and serve as an assistive technology to clinicians and other healthcare workers.

“Bringing Google-quality, gen AI search capabilities across an organization’s entire ecosystem, including EHRs, has the potential to dramatically improve efficiencies, provide clinical decision support, and increase the quality of care clinicians can give patients,” said Burak Gokturk, VP and general manager, Cloud AI and Industry Solutions for Google Cloud. “Making Vertex AI Search more useful for healthcare and life science organizations is a priority for us because we know that having the right information and insights at the right time can make all the difference in health.”

The new features build on Vertex AI Search’s current ability to easily set up question-answering and conversational search applications powered by foundation models, including the ability to ground outputs of gen AI to the enterprise’s data. The new features announced today in Vertex AI Search tuned for healthcare and life sciences will give customers the ability to find accurate clinical information more efficiently and ask questions of the patient record.

Google Cloud’s customers retain control over their data. In healthcare settings, access and use of patient data is protected through the implementation of Google Cloud’s reliable infrastructure and secure data storage that support HIPAA compliance, along with each customer’s security, privacy controls, and processes. In addition, Vertex AI Search, Healthcare Data Engine, and Healthcare API support HIPAA compliance. The new Vertex AI Search features for healthcare and life science companies will also support HIPAA compliance.

“Healthcare is a data intensive industry with majority of the medical knowledge locked up in unstructured documents and text,” said Vish Anantraman, chief technology officer for Mayo Clinic. “New search functionality from Vertex AI provides Mayo Clinic new capabilities to use data to support a wide range of applications.”

“Now that we’ve moved our significant data, applications workload and other IT resources from on-premises to Google Cloud, using gen AI for search over our enterprise data has the potential to dramatically improve the information and insights we can deliver to our clinicians and our other team members,” said Kash Patel, EVP and chief digital information officer for Hackensack Meridian Health. “Data is at the core of how we are modernizing healthcare, and Vertex AI Search for healthcare and life sciences will help us make the most of our data.”

“Highmark Health’s blended approach connects payers, providers, tech innovators and community organizations to build a health ecosystem that works better for everyone – we call this Living Health,” said Richard Clarke, chief analytics officer, Highmark Health. “Artificial intelligence, including generative AI, plays a key role in how we are enabling Living Health and we are interested in how Vertex AI Search could help us simplify the experience and make it more personal, accessible, and helpful for providers and patients.”

“We’re already embedding Google Health’s search and summarization capabilities into our Expanse EHR and have delivered that solution to a customer; work we are collectively very proud of. We will be exploring next how the broader capability with Vertex AI Search can further empower providers and patients,” said Helen Waters, EVP and COO of MEDITECH. “Beyond simply synthesizing information, these capabilities can organize and surface the most important information to help overburdened care teams in their workflow.”

Google Cloud customers will be able to benefit from using Vertex AI Search features for healthcare and life sciences alongside Med-PaLM 2, Google’s medically-tuned large language model. While Med-PaLM 2 is expert in complex medical topics, Vertex AI Search features for healthcare and life sciences will deliver medically-tuned search capabilities grounded in the patient record. When combined, healthcare organizations can find the most relevant answers to complex medical questions both from world knowledge as well as within the patient’s medical record, enabling them to make informed decisions faster and more efficiently.