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Google Exec Says Data, AI Can Advance Health Care

Toby Cosgrove, an executive advisor to the Google Cloud health care team, believes data and artificial intelligence (AI) have the power to advance the health care system.

“As you look at health care, we have got a problem and a curse in the fact that we have an explosion in the amount of knowledge there is in health care. For example, there are 5,800 medical journals that are turning out 800,000 articles a year,” Cosgrove said in an interview with CNBC.

“There's an enormous amount of data and it's a problem for us to keep track of and that's why I think the cloud is going to come in,” he explained. “As the data goes to the cloud all the major cloud providers have come to an agreement that they will share unidentified information.”

Cosgrove noted that doctors and researchers will be able to use the data to discover trends and decide on treatments while protecting patient privacy.

“So now you can have huge data sets that you can begin to analyze, and now that's where AI and machine learning comes in,” he said.

Just last week it was reported that AI in the healthcare market is expected to grow to $36.1 billion by 2025. The “Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Market by Offering, Technology, End-Use Application, End User And Geography — Global Forecast to 2025″ report revealed that AI utilized in healthcare will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.2 percent during the period.

Looking at the coming year, Cosgrove believes that telehealth technology will become more popular as it connects patients to health care via videoconferencing, remote monitoring, and electronic consults. He noted that this is especially useful for people who don't live near a doctor or specialist, or for patients in need of continual monitoring without a hospital stay.

"Kaiser is seeing over 50 percent of their patients distantly," noted Cosgrove.

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