Google has revealed a significant push into the healthcare space with a major new cloud computing deal.
The computing giant has announced Google Cloud will be partnering with Ascension to provide hosting services for large amounts of health data from millions of patients across the US.
The deal will also mark the beginning of Project Nightingale, Google's new initiative to try and bring AI and machine learning technology and healthcare closer together.
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Details on Project Nightingale are still scarce, but Google has said it will work with Ascension (which operates across 21 US states) to source data that can be used to design smarter AI patient care software.
The news, marks Google's biggest healthcare computing deal to date, was first revealed back in July as part of the company's expansion of Google Cloud's AI and machine learning tools.
In a blog post (opens in new tab) concerning today's news, Google looked to clarify exactly what the deal would entail, following concern that the company was gaining access to personal health records.
"Our work with Ascension is...a business arrangement to help a provider with the latest technology," Tariq Shaukat, President, Industry Products and Solutions, Google Cloud wrote.
"These organizations, like Ascension, use Google to securely manage their patient data, under strict privacy and security standards. They are the stewards of the data, and we provide services on their behalf."
"We’re proud of the important work we’re doing as a cloud technology partner for healthcare companies. Modernizing the healthcare industry is a critically important task, with the ultimate result not just digital transformation, but also improving patient outcomes and saving lives."
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