Google Introduces AI Search Capabilities for Clinicians

AI-powered search tool allows clinicians to access many sources

Google Says AI Search Tool Saves Time

This week, Google Cloud announced new capabilities in Vertex AI Search for health care and life sciences organizations. The new AI-powered search tool builds on Google’s existing Healthcare API and Healthcare Data Engine products. It is designed to help clinicians access information from different data sources quickly. Google claims this “will help solve acute and growing problems of workforce shortages, provider burnout, and administrative burden” in the industry.

What Does an AI-Powered Search Tool Do Exactly?

Doctors no longer need to read through their notes, faxes, and electronic health records separately to learn a patient’s history, according to Lisa O’Malley, senior director of product management for Cloud AI at Google Cloud. She gave that example during an interview on CNBC, adding, “Instead, they can search questions such as ‘What medications has this patient taken in the last 12 months?’ and see the relevant information in one place.”

Is the New AI Tool HIPAA Compliant?

According to Google, “In healthcare settings, access and use of patient data is protected through the implementation of Google Cloud’s reliable infrastructure and secure data storage that support HIPAA compliance, along with each customer’s security, privacy controls, and processes.”

PrivaPlan President David Ginsberg addressed the question and the role of HIPAA-covered entities. “Because healthcare providers, who are HIPAA-covered entities, must adhere to federal privacy and security regulations, and in some cases similar state laws, it is critical to ensure that any artificial intelligence tool used in the practice of medicine is evaluated to confirm that it supports appropriate compliance.”

“This can include ensuring that any protected health information or personally identifiable information remains private and confidential and is not allowed to be consumed by an AI engine for learning without the covered entities’ agreement,” Ginsberg said. “It also includes ensuring that AI systems are approved by your professional liability carrier if they are going to be used for medical decision-making. After all, it is the professional liability carriers who will defend healthcare providers in a medical malpractice situation.”

Read more about data security and patient privacy in our blog.

Privacy & Security Risk Assessments for AI

Early access to Vertex AI Search for health care and life sciences began October 9, but Google Cloud has already been testing the capabilities with health organizations such as Mayo Clinic, Hackensack Meridian Health, and Highmark Health.

While AI becomes more prevalent in the world and, therefore, in healthcare settings, the security and privacy experts at PrivaPlan are here to walk you through the issues that surround it. Contact us today!

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