Google Cloud's health strategy, NIH's Covid data dilemma and telehealth merger rumors

Google Cloud’s health strategy, NIH’s Covid data dilemma and telehealth merger rumors

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Watch: Google’s attempts to monetize healthcare AI

The search giant is trying to monetize its artificial intelligence for healthcare markets through a new deal with iCADa cancer treatment company considering licensing Google Healthbreast cancer risk detection and prediction models and integrates them into her clinical practice. Using Google’s AI model — and its cloud infrastructure, which I’ll discuss later — could drive adoption of iCAD’s broader cancer detection services, an executive said in a press release. .

These types of partnerships are critical to growing Google Health’s business, Greg Corradothe head of Google Health AI, said in another statement.


As we reported in 2020, a Google Health study published in Nature suggested that the company’s breast cancer screening tool could detect cancer more accurately than clinicians. But it’s still unclear to what extent health systems will use the technology, or how easy it is to integrate it into their clinical workflows. (If you have any ideas or anecdotes, let us know!)

Speaking of Google Cloud…


… My colleague Mario Aguilar watched closely as Google presented its cloud business to hospitals at the HLTH industry conference in Las Vegas. The tech giant is positioning its cloud business as an almost turnkey service that requires little effort for healthcare systems that fear moving their data to the cloud, writes Mario. It’s even starting to sell “accelerators”: ready-to-use packages of data models and dashboards for common healthcare use cases.

And the company may have a leg up on other consumer-focused tech companies keen to break into healthcare, especially Amazon, the expansion of which has raised concerns among mainstream health systems, writes Mario. Learn more about Mario here.

NIH’s plan to crowdsource Covid-19 test results

The National Institutes of Health recently soft-launched an online hub where people can self-report Covid-19 test results from home, which often go unreported elsewhere and are somewhat of a blind spot for researchers and health services public. asks people to report a positive or negative result and type of test along with basic information like gender and whether they have symptoms. But how the agency plans to tackle potential issues, like fabricated test results, is still unclear.

Andre Weitzwho is co-leading the effort at NIH, told me that although the site is protected against distributed denial-of-service attacks as well as repeated multiple attempts to submit results, “perhaps a larger issue is to how do we know that all the results people submit are actually true, and the answer is we don’t,” he said. He said the effort is a bit of an experiment, and that while somewhat messy, it could still give researchers and public health departments more information about home testing than they currently have.

“We’re not trying to invade anyone’s privacy or track people,” he said. “I think it’s powerless for people to understand that before all of this existed, if they went to a lab and took a Covid test or went to their doctor’s office and took a Covid test, that information is already reported… we are simply asking people who are willing to share this information themselves to do so voluntarily.

Yet another telehealth merger rumor

The telehealth giant Am fine reportedly in talks to acquire virtual mental health therapy company Discussion areaaccording to the Israeli publication Calcalist, which said the acquisition would be worth about $200 million or $1.50 per share. Neither Talkspace nor Amwell would confirm the report. As Mario writes, mental health tech companies are facing growing headwinds as sales slow — and Talkspace in particular has been warning investors and analysts since the summer that potential customers are postponing their decision making in the face of economic uncertainty.

More Thoughts on the FTC’s Trade Data Use Investigation

The comment period on the Federal Trade CommissionThe Trade Oversight and Data Security Survey concluded last week, and we’ve heard from a few more of you about the worst-case scenarios if the use of consumer health data remains largely unregulated. The Legal Action Center, for example, points out that the use of apps for conditions such as substance use disorders, or location data indicating visits to harm reduction or addiction treatment centers, could give away a person’s health status and lead to discrimination and other harm.

And if you have several hours to kill, you can check out the Electronic Privacy Information CenterThe 230-page commentary, which notes that while a consumer “can reasonably assume that anything they search for on the healthcare search site will be protected and limited in the same way as their interactions with their doctor would be” , some websites actually only comply with the stricter data requirements when working with a healthcare provider.

“In reality, the healthcare search site is leaking information about their device, geolocation data, contact information, demographics, and healthcare provider searches to ‘ad networks’ and ‘advertising partners’. ‘analytics’. She may then be targeted and profiled by these unknown third-party companies, which is an out-of-context secondary use of her sensitive personal information.

Industry News

What we read

  • How Air Quality Sensors Could Keep Workers Healthy, New York Times
  • Telehealth companies push to expand pandemic-era rules, WSJ
  • Who is the next target for mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare sector? Fierce Health

#Google #Clouds #health #strategy #NIHs #Covid #data #dilemma #telehealth #merger #rumors

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