Google Will Transform Healthcare, after having transformed others spaces like video, search and artificial intelligence. Tech giants (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft) for some time now have diverted their attention to a sector that’s evaded disruption till now: HEALTHCARE. There’s already been a staggering competitive streak for acquisition of health-related patents between Google, Microsoft & Apple in the last five years. An important breakthrough in the healthcare sector could be on the cards if there’s effective utilisation of the wealth of data that these companies possess combined with the expertise of data scientists working in these companies to restructure the Healthcare data infrastructure.
Why Google is leading the race for Healthcare AI
In this race for command over the Healthcare sector, Google has pulled ahead of its competition with its focus on integrating AI to dominate the market. Google’s emphasis on showcasing itself as an AI/ML company and investment in research papers, AI research centres has been the distinguishing factor in this case. Another aspect that works in Google’s favour is its preference to build relationships and offer its services to companies in exchange for data that would fuel the AI models built by Google. A basic real-life example of this would be Google offering all their apps on Play Store for free in exchange for access to personal data that we provide in turn.
Google’s Health AI Strategy
Around 4 years ago, Google’s parent company Alphabet took control over healthcare projects that were previously handled by the R&D of Google X labs and made AI the prime focus of all the subsidiaries monitoring these projects. Primarily, three subsidiaries – Verily, DeepMind and Calico have been extensively working on Health AI.
- Verily: Verily is the centre for managing Healthcare data, research and intervention. It is the focal point of Google’s Health AI mission.
- DeepMind: It is the seat for research and development of the core Artificial Intelligence system involved in this mission and is also responsible for successfully integrating AI with Healthcare.
- Calico: This wing focuses on combating disease and age-related issues in conjunction with using AI to make the wealth of data available, meaningful.
Even assets such as Google Cloud which fall under a different branch altogether are being used to strengthen the Healthcare cause.
Google Will Transform Healthcare as it’s AI mission covers the following aspects of healthcare and more.
- Data Generation: The process of collecting, digitizing and implementing data sourced from various applications and wearable technologies.
- Disease Detection: Applying AI models to detect certain irregularity after scanning large datasets of patients and thus assist in early detection of disease.
- Disease Management: Development of tools to regulate day to day activities of diseased individuals and personalised lifestyle modifications.
Challenges & Future Scope
However, even if Google seems to have all the correct ingredients in place to successfully implement its Health AI strategy, its track record when it comes to successful healthcare ventures haven’t been one to boast about. Not that it should interfere with its current predicament, but the fact that healthcare data and the ethics surrounding it make it a sensitive topic to deal with, will make it difficult. Also, the fact that there’s a definite disparity in opinion when it comes to Google already having access to our personal data isn’t going to pave a smooth way for Google either. Ultimately, if Google manages to exhibit the bigger picture to the people, tackles current issues and effectively unifies its various subsidiaries, there might well be the possibility of a future with AI-driven Healthcare.