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HCA and Google partner to mine patient data

Mission Hospital (Photo credit: Bloomberg)

HCA and Google have agreed to work together to develop healthcare algorithms using patient records, The Wall Street Journal reported May 26. The patient records, including digital health records and data from internet-connected medical devices, would be extracted from HCA’s 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 clinics and facilities across the country, including Mission Hospital in Asheville and six other hospitals in Western North Carolina.

The new multi-year agreement expands a previous alliance between the two companies to share patient health data related to COVID-19. Google and HCA engineers will work to develop algorithms to “help improve operating efficiency, monitor patients, and guide doctors’ decisions,” according to the companies.

“Data are spun off of every patient in real time,” said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, chief medical officer of HCA, which is based in Nashville, Tenn. “Part of what we’re building is a central nervous system to help interpret the various signals.”

Some of Google’s earlier forays into the $3 trillion healthcare industry have raised concerns about data privacy. Dr. Perlin told The Journal that HCA patient records would be stripped of identifying information before being shared with Google data scientists and that the hospital system would control access to the data. — P.L.

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