Thursday, December 2, 2021

Hackensack Meridian Health Partnering with Google Cloud on AI in Care 

EDISON, N.J. and SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Hackensack Meridian Health and Google Cloud are working on using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve patient care. 

Hackensack Meridian is partnering with Google Cloud to deploy machine learning (ML) and AI in key clinical areas, such as screening and detection, to help transform the way health care is delivered to thousands of patients across New Jersey, according to Google Cloud last month.

“Hackensack Meridian Health is always looking for new and innovative ways we can utilize technology to transform the patient experience,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Through our collaboration with Google, we are enhancing patient care and improving health outcomes.”

See more: Artificial Intelligence: Current and Future Trends

Deploying AI and ML to improve care

Google Cloud’s AI/ML offerings are intended to aid physicians and care teams and allow them to provide better care, at scale, as well as to drive operational efficiencies. 

For example, they’ll work together to deploy AI/ML solutions to assist in screening and disease detection, such as:

  • Newborn screenings: Newborn Screening is a public health program that tests babies for congenital disorders. Hackensack Meridian Health is looking at ways to leverage AI/ML technologies like natural language processing (NLP) and optical character recognition (OCR) to put results in the provider’s hand as soon as possible. This initiative allows providers to receive automatic notification of test results and expedite access to review the newborn patient’s screening results and medical information. 
  • Mammography screenings: A routine mammogram is one of the best ways to find breast cancer in women aged 50-74, and it is critical for patient outcomes to provide high accuracy in mammogram readings. Hackensack Meridian is looking to improve the accuracy of mammogram readings using AI to conduct secondary screenings, potentially catching issues undetected by a provider and improving overall quality.
  • Prostate cancer screenings: Recent research has identified a wide variance in prostate cancer outcomes among male patients within different demographic groups. Hackensack Meridian is using AI/ML technologies to pinpoint and understand specific factors that influence this variance in patient outcome. AI/ML models can be built to predict patient outcomes and provide potential treatment paths.
  • Sepsis detection: Diagnosing a septic infection can be difficult, which is why Hackensack Meridian is looking to utilize AI/ML technologies to analyze patients’ medical data and predict risk of infection in real-time.
  • COVID-19 detection: Hackensack Meridian is looking at ways to use NLP, an AI technology, to analyze the clinical notes of patients with COVID-19. The goal of this initiative is to better understand COVID-19 signs and symptoms, and how the disease progresses in patients.

See more: Google Cloud Platform Review

Through this work, Hackensack Meridian Health is leveraging Google Cloud’s foundation to protect data and facilitate secure collaboration. Hackensack Meridian controls access and use of its patient data.

“This partnership provides the opportunity to transform care for thousands of patients,” says Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Hackensack Meridian Health team, as we further our joint efforts to develop innovative services that will push care to the next level.”

Google Cloud’s AI and ML technologies are “a new frontier in medicine,” said Dr. Daniel W. Varga, chief physician executive, Hackensack Meridian Health. 

“Together, we will improve patient care, treatment precision, and clinical outcomes of diseases, while increasing efficiencies that can help physicians devote more time to life-saving research and patient care,” Varga said.

In addition, Hackensack Meridian Health recently migrated to Google Workspace and will be one of the first health systems in the world to use Chrome OS devices across clinical and business environments.

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