Google Health To Use Search To Innovate Healthcare

Google Hires First Chief Health Officer

The VP of Google Health has revealed that his focus for the division is on its search capabilities.

Speaking at HLTH, a health care conference in Las Vegas, David Feinberg said that Google Health wants to make it easier for doctors to search medical records, as well as boost the quality of health-related search results across Google and YouTube.

In 2018, Google hired Feinberg to lead the company’s expansion into the healthcare space. The former chief executive of Geisinger soon began consolidating teams throughout the company with the inclusion of its artificial intelligence (AI) division, DeepMind, and its hardware unit. DeepMind recently announced that its technology can predict if a patient has potentially fatal kidney injuries 48 hours prior to the time that doctors can recognize symptoms.

Feinberg described one idea he has in mind for Google Health at the conference: “Imagine a search bar on top of your EHR (electronic health record) that needs no training,” he said to those in attendance, adding that doctors could simply start typing into the search bar, with the system automatically filling out responses. For example, a doctor can type in the number “87” and the system will auto-complete information on the 87-year-old patient with a history of stomach cancer.

In addition, he discussed how many doctors use YouTube for guidance on surgeries, and that he wants to improve the content on the site as a result. “Your doctor, before they operate on you, they actually go to YouTube. We see that. “We want to continue to build information to allow caregivers to take better care of patients, but again, that’s scratching the surface.”

As Google Health evolves, last month the division hired former Obama administration health official Karen DeSalvo as its first chief health officer. She will advise Google on doctors, nurses and providers through the firm’s cloud unit as well as the Verily life sciences arm, where she has served on the advisory board.