Exploring data-driven solutions for health care at Google Cloud Next ’24

Exploring data-driven solutions for health care at Google Cloud Next 24

By Saleem Janmohamed

Health care organizations find themselves trying to focus on improving patient care and outcomes while also creating operational efficiencies. Data and AI technology can help unlock the insights needed to achieve these goals. 

This was the topic of a panel Egen hosted at Google Cloud Next ’24 this month with leaders representing a broad cross-section of organizations across the health care ecosystem. Egen CEO and Chairman Saleem Janmohamed sat down with panelists including J.R. Allen, VP of Accelerated Technologies at HCA Healthcare, Isaac Palmer, Jr., CEO of Qartek, Mangesh Patil, Chief Analytics Officer at HCA Healthcare, Gopalakrishnan Pitchumani, Senior Director of Information Technology at Elevance Health, and Aashima Gupta, Global Director of Global Healthcare Solutions at Google Cloud. 

The theme of our discussion was data-driven solutions to optimize patient care and streamline operations. We explored the challenges and opportunities of using data and AI technology across today’s health care ecosystem:   

The need for interoperable data 

Data is abundant in health care, but very little of it is currently used to drive analytics and insights that improve patient outcomes. Part of the problem is that much of the data remains unstructured and multimodal, ranging from radiology images, lab results, and genomic data to handwritten notes and even outdated technology including fax machines. 

This data needs to be cleansed, integrated, and brought into secure platforms that are accessible to patients, payers, and providers in order to unlock a 360-degree view of the patient that enables each player in the ecosystem to drive operational efficiency while ensuring patient outcomes are achieved. The catalysts to achieving this eutopia are: 

  1. A regulatory environment that forces players to build common platforms and share data; 
  2. Investments, skills, and technology to build and support scalable platforms that can securely house and process vast amounts of data; and 
  3. Agreement between all parties on how the data will be used to train AI models that support decisions on the services provided to patients. 

The evolution toward such interoperability will move at the speed of trust between the participants in the ecosystem.   

Creating security and trust

As we unlock the full power of data to fuel actionable health care insights, decisions, and actions, we also need to consider how to ethically use data. We must create trust in the security and privacy of sensitive health data, especially as it is used to fuel machine learning and AI tools and applications. Advances with data and AI in the health care ecosystem will only move at the pace of trust. 

Establishing trust by demonstrating security and privacy will be crucial for people to be willing to move away from the status quo. Without that trust, even if we build solutions and applications, the users might not be ready to use them. The stakes are high: There is extreme sensitivity to any chance of security breaches or misuse involving health care data. That can result in bureaucracy and data moving slowly into any new systems. By building security into the entire data journey for health care organizations, we can help ensure the resulting solutions and applications will be trusted and adopted. 

Explaining the role of technology 

Advancing the trust journey with using data-driven solutions and AI in health care will require being able to clearly explain the role and benefits of technology to patients, who are not always familiar with new technologies. How can payers and providers best explain to patients why and how technologies such as AI will be used to improve their care? 

The explanations of technology to patients should include clear definitions of how that technology will be used. Patients need to understand technology is not intended to replace their doctors. AI will not be giving them their diagnoses, and human interaction will not be removed from care. Technology simply provides a tool to help doctors do their best work, improving diagnoses and healing journeys for patients, and it helps payers complete their work effectively and efficiently. Explaining these limitations to policymakers will be crucial, too, in an effort to gain their trust and support in adopting new technologies in health care. 

Making technology invisible 

A key opportunity in building more data-driven solutions and advanced AI tools into health care is to reinforce the emphasis on the human connection between patients and providers. New technologies should augment the human relationship by fueling better data sharing and more informed decisions. Technology can and should reach a point where it is advanced enough that it is not as noticeable as it is today, where nurses and doctors are often typing information into electronic health records on computers or tablets while patients speak. Advancements in technology could help do the work of accurately capturing patient information so providers are freed up to focus on listening to and helping their patients.

What the future holds

There are areas where data and AI can quickly fuel improvements in the current health care ecosystem. Health care is complex to navigate, and it can be challenging for patients to get answers. We already know some of the things patients want and struggle to find, for example, information on what the typical outcomes are for their condition in their cohort. AI will make it much easier for patients to navigate the system and find these kinds of answers and more. 

The same can be said for providers, who can be empowered by rich and timely data to better serve their patients. By prompting patients to fill out things like health surveys and regularly update their health data in a web or mobile app, providers can use data analysis to fuel insights and proactively engage with their patients. If an app shows a patient is developing troubling symptoms or their health is trending in a worrying direction,  providers can review the data and trigger a request for their patient to schedule a check-up appointment. Likewise, if the patient’s health is improving as a result of preventive action they will get positive reinforcement along the way.  

We must ensure new data and AI tools do not replicate the current obstacles that have hindered health care. We cannot create AI silos on top of data silos. Data and the AI applications built with that data must be interoperable and interconnected to maximize the value of these tools for users across health care.

For health care organizations exploring data-driven and AI solutions that can unleash insights and drive impact, Egen brings deep experience and expertise in cloud, data, AI, and platforms to create solutions that bridge technology and human empowerment. Learn more about how we work with health care organizations to bring together the best technology, tools, insights, and workflows to succeed in today’s landscape.

Are you ready to [unleash] new possibilities?

Contact our team today to get started.

Scroll to Top