Google strikes several hospital partnerships for machine learning research
Google announced expanded partnerships with three blue-chip academic medical centers this past week, where bioinformaticians will explore how its machine learning technology can be deployed in clinical settings to mine EHR data for improved outcomes.
"Machine learning is mature enough to start accurately predicting medical events – such as whether patients will be hospitalized, how long they will stay, and whether their health is deteriorating despite treatment for conditions such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, or heart failure," said Google Brain Team researcher Katherine Chou in a blog post.
"Advanced machine learning can discover patterns in de-identified medical records to predict what is likely to happen next, and thus, anticipate the needs of the patients before they arise," she added.
Google Brain is especially interested in putting machine learning to work predicting and preventing healthcare-associated infections, medication errors and hospital readmissions.
As it does, the company will be "helping to harmonize the different ways data appears" among its partner hospitals, said Chou.
Google's deep learning technology, working in tandem with HL7's FHIR interoperability standard, can help automate standardization and data exchange, making the data easier for researchers to access, she said.
"As part of this research, our healthcare partners ensured that patient data was appropriately de-identified prior to sharing," said Chou. "We then used Google Cloud’s infrastructure to keep the data stored securely with the highest level of protections and to strictly follow HIPAA privacy rules. The records are kept separate from consumer data and will only be used in our partnership research projects."