Google will let health organizations use its AI to analyze and store X -rays

Google will let health organizations use its AI to analyze and store X -rays

Google announced Tuesday a new set of artificial intelligence tools aimed at allowing health organizations to use software and servers of the research giant to read, store and label radiographs, MRIs and other images medical.

The tools, from the Google cloud unit, allow hospitals and medical societies to search in imaging metadata or develop software to quickly analyze images for diagnostic purposes. Called Medical Imaging Suite, tools can also help health professionals automatically annotate medical images and create automatic research models for research.

“With the progress of medical imaging technology, the size and complexity of these images have increased,” said Alissa Hsu Lynch, Google Cloud world manager for health technology strategy and solutions, in an interview . “We know that AI can allow a faster and more precise diagnosis and therefore help improve the productivity of health workers.”

Based on the other Google incursions in the health field, defenders of privacy could be concerned about the fact that the technology giant, which achieves majority of its $ 257 billion in annual income thanks to Personalized advertisements based on user data, would use patient information to supply its large advertising machine.

Lynch claims that Google has no access to patients protected patients for patients and that none of the service data would be used for the company’s advertising efforts. Google claims that the service complies with the Portability and Health Insurance Act, or HIPAA, a federal law that regulates the use of patient data.

The technology giant works with a handful of medical organizations as the first partners for imaging software. A partner, a company called Hologic, uses the Google suite for cloud storage, as well as the development of technologies to help improve the diagnosis of cervical cancer. Another partner called Hackensack Meridian Health, a network of New Jersey health care providers, uses tools to clean the identification information for millions of X -ray gigabytes. The company will also use the software to create a prediction algorithm Prostate cancer metastases.

The new tools arrive as Google and its parent company Alphabet invest more in health -related initiatives. At the start of the pandemic, the Verily alphabet unit, which focuses on life sciences and medical technologies, joined forces with the Trump administration to provide online screening for COVID tests. Google also joined forces with Apple to create a contract monitoring system on smartphones. Last year, the company dissolved its Google Health unit, restructuring its health efforts so that they are not hosted in a central division.

Google has aroused controversy in the past for its health efforts. In 2019, Google drew attention to an initiative called Project Nightingale, in which the company has teamed up with Ascension, the country’s second largest health system, to collect personal health information for millions of people. The data included laboratory results, diagnostics and hospital files, including names and birthdays, according to the the wall street journal, although Google declared at the time that the project was in accordance with federal law. Google would have used the data in part to design new software.

Two years earlier, the technology giant joined the National Institute of Health to publicly publish more than 100,000 images of human pulmonary radiographs. The objective was to present the company’s cloud storage capacities and to make the data available to researchers. But two days before the publication of the images, the NIH told Google that its software had not properly deleted the X -ray data which could identify the patients, according to The Washington Post, which would potentially violate federal law. In response, Google canceled its project with the NIH.

Asked about Google’s past failures with anonymization information, Sameer Sethi, SVP and data director at Hackensack Meridian Health, said the company had implemented protective measures to avoid such incidents .

“You never trust the tool,” he said Forbes. He adds that Hackensack Meridian Health works with a third -party company to certify that the images are anonymized, even after using Google’s tools. “We will not bring anything to use without an expert determination.”

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