On Tuesday, Google announced the beginning of a 10-year partnership with Mayo Clinic leveraging AI tools to help in medical research. Google will open a new office in Rochester, Minnesota, near Mayo Clinic’s headquarters.
Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian, wrote in a blog post that the company will help rebuild Mayo Clinic’s digital strategy. A large part of this will involve developing a strategic roadmap for Mayo Clinic to leverage Google’s cloud-based, AI tools to power medical research including the creation of machine-learning models for research of “serious and complex diseases.
Google’s public cloud infrastructure will become the tent pole of the Mayo Clinic’s digital transformation initiatives. Mayo Clinic will also leverage Google’s AI systems and tools to further its medical research. AI is already being used for medical research with great effectiveness. In 2016, IBM’s Watson computer was able to cross-reference 20 million oncology records to diagnose, within a few minutes, a condition of a Japanese patient with leukemia.
Google, like IBM, is part of the cutting edge of AI in medicine. In 2015, Google worked with Ethicon to develop AI powered surgical equipment. The robotic systems enable precision and accuracy beyond human capabilities, making some surgeries less invasive.
“Health care is one of the most important fields that technology will help transform over the next decade, and it’s a major area of investment for Google,” said Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai. Adding that this partnership is “an extraordinary opportunity to develop services that will significantly improve lives.”
“With Google Cloud’s secure and compliant digital platform, we will be able to leverage innovative cloud technology, industry leading AI and healthcare specific solutions, so we can focus on revolutionizing healthcare delivery and taking care of our patients,” Christopher Ross, Mayo Clinic CIO, said in a statement.
In it’s own blog post, Mayo Clinic said it will continue to control access to its patient data, even though it will be stored and secured on the Google cloud. The post reads in part, “Mayo Clinic will specifically authorize the use of data in projects to create new health care insights and solutions in conjunction with partners, including Google,”