by Lisa Chamoff
, Contributing Reporter | December 05, 2017
CHICAGO — The question on a lot of physicians’ minds has been whether Silicon Valley tech giants are going to revolutionize health care just as they changed how people use the web.
That question was answered with Google’s debut at RSNA 2017, and the company made no secret of how they’re already partnering with other health imaging businesses and facilities to make the buzzwords of cloud computing and machine learning a reality.
“Our mission in health care is much like our mission as a company,” said Gregory Moore, the vice president of Google Cloud Health and a practicing neuroradiologist. “To organize health and life sciences information, to make it accessible, secure — which also means compliant — and useful. As an AI-first company, useful for us is using machine learning and artificial intelligence.”
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Moore acknowledged that diagnostic radiology has human limits. As a neuroradiologist, Moore said he typically takes care of 50 patients per day, and with an average of 435 images per study, that means spending 1.52 seconds per image. While radiologists have methods and tools that help them sift through so much data, more help is needed.
Google’s Cloud service is also helping facilities achieve the holy grail of interoperability. Ambra Health, a medical data and image management company, announced during RSNA that it is partnering with Google to offer its Ambra Suite of imaging solutions through Google Cloud.
Morris Panner, the chief executive officer of Ambra Health, said Google allows for greater accessibility, avoiding data silos in imaging, allowing radiologists to more easily share images with referring physicians and patients.
“What this holds out is an honest broker approach to enable the kind of interoperability that everybody is seeking in health care,” Panner said. “What Google lets us do is build those hooks and build that kind of interoperability that really makes a big difference.”
AI development is also impossible with data silos, Panner said.
“Without sufficient data sets, it gets pretty frustrating to run the kind of algorithmic research that we’d like to do,” Panner said.
Boris Zavalkovskiy, director of diagnostic services for Cancer Treatment Centers of America, said the network of five hospitals is using Google’s cloud platform as a duplicate archive so other providers can see what kind treatment patients underwent at their facilities. They also hope to use the data to analyze specific types of cancer.
This will “enable physicians a better opportunity to assess where the patient is in the progression of the disease and what are the better treatments that are out there,” Zavalkovskiy said.