Execs tout APIs, asks healthcare to 'share shamelessly'

Google Cloud VP, Cleveland Clinic associate CIO, urge healthcare organizations to get out there and find partners.
By Jessica Davis
04:32 PM
Google cloud APIs healthcare

LAS VEGAS – Interoperability is top of mind for every government agency and healthcare organization, but now digital healthcare companies like Google are attempting to tackle this problem as well.

In fact, Google launched its Cloud Healthcare API this week at HIMSS18 to address the industry’s most pressing interoperability challenges. The open API ingests and manages key healthcare data types like FHIR to allow Google customers to use data for cloud-based analytics and machine learning.

The launch, Gregory Moore, MD, Google Cloud’s vice president of healthcare, is “just the beginning.”

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“[The API] is really to address healthcare’s significant interoperability challenges,” said Moore at HIMSS18 on Wednesday. “APIs promote interoperability among most common data standards. And this is not only a tool for us to use, but for you all to use and to be developed, going forward.”

“Interoperability is vital to the power of unlocking healthcare data and improving patient care,” he added.

Joining Moore on stage was William H. Morris, Cleveland Clinic’s associate CIO, who agreed that healthcare’s issues “are going to be solved by an ecosystem collectively.”

In fact, to Morris, each healthcare stakeholder “should steal, borrow and share shamelessly from each other,” which is the only way that healthcare will make any progress. Far too often, organizations create their own siloes and work inwardly to improve.

“We breathe a little too much of our own exhaust sometimes,” said Moore. We need to get out there, talk with key stakeholders and build those partnerships, “as it’s the right thing to do.”

At Cleveland Clinic, “we’re banking on this to lower interface and innovation costs,” said Moore. “We shouldn’t be in the data hoarding game -- we should be focusing on better care… And if you don’t believe it --- well, good luck.”

“Partnerships -- this is what it’s all about, he continued. “[Healthcare’s issues] are going to be solved by an ecosystem collectively… Other industries have mastered the ability to drop down costs, drive down inefficiencies… and then we have healthcare.”

For Moore, this is where open APIs, FHIR standards and the like comes into play, “as it’s not just about knowledge. It’s knowledge in the right form and the right time.”

“If we don’t change the way we practice medicine, we’re still going to do the same crappy job -- but faster,” Moore said.

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Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com

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