Google unveils new generative AI tools to assist doctors and healthcare professionals

Google Cloud on Monday unveiled an array of new generative AI search capabilities designed to assist healthcare professionals to quickly retrieve accurate clinical information from different types of medical records across diverse data sources.

Google said that the new features will be accessible to healthcare and life sciences institutions through Google’s Vertex AI Search platform, ultimately saving valuable time and effort for healthcare workers.

Over the years, the healthcare industry has amassed is home to troves of valuable information and data. However, it can be difficult for clinicians to find the data because they are often scattered across various systems and formats. Recognizing this challenge, Google Cloud hopes the new generative AI search will empower clinicians and doctors to seamlessly extract information from a range of sources, including clinical notes, scanned documents, and electronic health records, consolidating it into a single accessible repository.

“While it should save time to be able to do that search, it should also prevent frustration on behalf of clinicians and [make] sure that they get to an answer easier,” Lisa O’Malley, senior director of product management for Cloud AI at Google Cloud told CNBC in an interview.

The news comes five months after announced its new generative AI search update called Search Generative Experience (SGE). The full rollout of the update is scheduled for public release year. According to Google, SGE uses machine learning algorithms to analyze users’ search queries, browsing history, and personal interests, thereby enhancing the delivery of personalized and distinctive search results.

Meanwhile, Google added that the new will be extended to health and life sciences organizations through Google’s Vertex AI Search platform, which has already been accessible to companies in various sectors for conducting searches across public websites, documents, and other databases. This specialized offering for healthcare is an expansion of Google’s existing Healthcare API and Healthcare Data Engine products.

Aashima Gupta, the Global Director of Healthcare Strategy and Solutions at Google Cloud, highlighted that these new Vertex AI Search capabilities have been designed with a focus on seamless integration into a clinician’s workflow, catering to the specific needs of customers in the healthcare sector.

The healthcare industry has historically shown some reluctance to adopt new technology, and this challenge becomes more pronounced if healthcare professionals perceive new solutions as distracting or difficult to use. Gupta said that Google is actively addressing these concerns to ensure smooth adoption within the healthcare field.

“These are the workflows that the physicians and nurses live by day in and day out. You can’t be adding friction to it,” Gupta told CNBC in an interview. “We are very cautious of that — that we are respecting the surface they use, that the workflow doesn’t change, but yet they get the power of this technology.”

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