Google to power Stanford Medicine's Clinical Genomics Service

The university aims to make genetic testing a regular part of healthcare using Google's Cloud Platform and informatics.
By Jessica Davis
10:30 AM

To make genetic testing a routine part of healthcare, Stanford University School of Medicine has tapped Google Genomics to power its forthcoming Clinical Genomics Service, it was announced Monday. The service will be launched in the fall.

Google will provide the informatics infrastructure for the service, which will be built on the Google Cloud Platform, according to the announcement. Further, Stanford and Google will build cloud-based applications to analyze healthcare data pools with the aim of improving patient care and medical research.

The service will allow Stanford's physicians to order genomic sequencing for patients distinctive or abnormal symptoms possibly caused by a wayward gene. Stanford officials will analyze the patient data and compare it with data stored on the system to find any anomalies. In turn, it may make it possible for providers to treat different cancers and decipher rare illnesses.

"In the past few years, the amount of available data about health care has exploded," said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of Stanford University School of Medicine in a statement. "While researchers are learning to integrate this big data, putting it to work for individual patients, in real time, is a huge challenge."

[Also: Intermountain, Stanford forge precision medicine partnership]

Under the agreement, Google becomes a formal business associate of Stanford Medicine and as such will be held responsible for protecting patient data under HIPAA. Further, all patient data stored on Google Cloud Platform servers will remain private and encrypted.

Stanford Medicine includes the Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children's Health. Financial information and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"This agreement brings together expertise in three areas: data science, life science research and clinical care, said Sam Schillace, vice president of Google's engineering for industry solutions, in a statement. "The next decade of improvements in understanding and advancing healthcare are going to come from leaders in those three areas working together to build the next generation of platforms, tools and data."

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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