Google Health presented the Electronic Health Record (EHR) that it is developing as part of a new generation of digital clinical instruments. It represents a difficult and very demanding challenge for industry players.
Dr. Alvin Rajkomar, product manager and practicing physician, illustrates in a demonstration video the features and functionalities of the system that is still under development. I suggest everyone look carefully.
With a single login, doctors can access a unified view of data normally spread across multiple systems. All the types of information clinicians need are assembled together such as the vitals, labs, medications and notes.
Clicking on any value will start a deeper exploration showing recent and historical trends both graphically and with tables. Doctors can query the entire chart with their own words and typos. Results are not strict keyword matches. A variety of Google technologies are used to identify related
The EHR is also able to recognize the abbreviations that doctors use to perform research. Navigation and access to the various types of information is very quick and can be done either using the tabs that make up the menu or through the text search box.
The system allows you to copy and paste, retaining references to the original sources and uses Gmail’s SmartCompose technology to speed up text entry and automatically compile clinical sentences.
When the physician enters text, e.g. quotes a lab test, the EHR displays in a window the most recent values, range, maximum and minimum that the physician can select to complete the sentence.
The same drafting aid technology is also available for other examinations, such as imaging. The EHR is also able to search for information and clinical concepts in scanned documents and handwritten notes.
The new tool, which is still in the pilot phase, is being tested in Ascension, a health system based in St. Louis, with which Google has been collaborating since 2018 in the Nightingale project.
This project had raised concerns among many patients and some Ascension employees about data privacy and the risk that data might be used for advertising or other purposes. This was denied by Dr. David Feinberg, head of Google Health, who commented that the current project adheres to strict rules on patient data management and that the collaboration agreement with Ascension ensures that patient data cannot be used for purposes other than the provision of health services.
Google’s entry into the EHR sector will have a strong impact on the market and will be a source of great concern for the players currently present. Google’s technologies and the ability to process and correlate large amounts of data very effectively represent a major competitive advantage that is difficult for companies developing clinical applications to achieve.