Google Health is back from its untimely retirement about a decade ago. The search giant could push the Digital Wellbeing ecosystem way beyond its present scope with the platform.
Google Health is currently available for 300 patients of community health and academic medical centers in select states of America. Although in an early beta trial, the platform could take on a much bigger role to ensure medical records are always available on an Android smartphone.
Google recruiting 300 people with Android smartphones to partake in its trial:
Google is reportedly recruiting around 300 people who use Android devices. The Google Health trial is currently restricted to California, Atlanta, and Chicago.
The search giant is currently interested in people and healthcare services that rely on the Epic electronic health record system. The platform essentially attempts to offer round-the-clock and instant access to medical records on Android devices.
'Google is making another attempt at personal health records'
I remember clearly when @Google Health was shut down after a few agonizing attempts at revolutionizing medical records.
Google simply didn't have the knowledge to make it happen. Maybe now? https://t.co/nkHaGq5GwD pic.twitter.com/QqR7e9DU0G
— Berci Meskó, MD, PhD (@Berci) April 13, 2021
Google is reportedly “running a user feedback program to test features that give users the ability to collect health information from their provider-patient portals.”
The search giant has confirmed it is running trials but hasn’t offered many details. Still, it is amply clear that Google is taking yet another stab at collating, storing, processing, and offering medical or health records.
DeepTrio from @GoogleHealth improves accuracy from the already-great DeepVariant single sample calling. #HiFiReads have the highest overall accuracy & excellent de novo variant calling, even at lower coverage: https://t.co/Of3MDJOhbb pic.twitter.com/D9tClR0E5B
— PacBio (@PacBio) April 10, 2021
The trial should culminate in a Google Health app or ecosystem where users log in to their hospital records and sync everything over. It is quite likely the company would streamline the information and display it in a more organized and well-designed manner.
Google has indicated it will save all the medical or health records in its own cloud or remotely hosted servers. Moreover, the company will not use the information for pushing advertising.
Google is “making progress” on the consumer health record initiative:
Google pioneered the “medical records at the fingertips”. However, that was back in 2008. Google Health arrived first, but needless to add, was way ahead of its time.
The initiative didn’t take off, and Google shut it down in 2012. In a blog post, the company had written: “We haven’t found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people”.
There could be a number of reasons Google Health couldn’t succeed back in 2008. Back then, consumers or patients may not have been serious about “owing or accessing” their health records on smartphones.
— Márcio M. Silva (@marciojmsilva) April 12, 2021
There may have been issues getting companies that create and store health records onboard. However, it is also possible that several patients, hospitals, and companies may have been wary of Google gaining access to sensitive medical history.
Needless to mention, the situation is very different today. Moreover, Apple Inc. has already made big waves with its iOS Health app.
Does your medical imaging classifier know what it doesn’t know?
In this @GoogleHealth @GoogleAI paper, we propose a new approach to detecting the long tail of unseen medical data. An essential capability for the reliable and safe deployment of clinical deep learning systems. https://t.co/7KD0VDazXg
— Jim Winkens (@jimwinkens) April 9, 2021
Google seems confident that patients, health-conscious Android smartphone users, medical records companies, and other involved parties would now be more willing. Moreover, the Android smartphone ecosystem is now a lot more secure and reliable despite the numerous potential threats and risks.