Google Cloud has reached a major agreement with the American health group Ascension. An operation that installs a little more the technology giant in the field of health but raises a question as to the protection of data.
Google Cloud continues to sign partnerships for its health offer. After finalizing a framework agreement with an organization of US veterans, the cloud branch of Alphabet’s subsidiary signed its biggest cloud computing contract in the health sector earlier this week, as part of an agreement giving him access to data sets that could help him optimize potentially lucrative artificial intelligence (AI) tools.
Google Cloud has formalized the signing of an agreement with the US hospital group Ascension, which operates 150 hospitals and more than 50 homes for seniors on US soil.
Google’s cloud branch management also said the Ascension contract will focus on using G Suite’s productivity tools and extend G Suite tools to doctors and nurses to improve care for G Suite. patients from centers operated by Ascension.
US courts concerned about protecting patient data
In a press release, Ascension management assured that the partnership will comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), a legal framework that protects the confidentiality of medical information across the Atlantic. An insurance that did not seem enough to the US justice, which decided to conduct further investigations to ensure that the management of Ascension patient data collection will be consistent with the HIPPA, as reported Wednesday the US authorities.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this agreement will lead the Ascension group to transfer certain data and analysis tools in its facilities on Google’s servers. These data may include laboratory results, medical diagnoses, and hospital records, as well as information on the complete medical history and patient identification of Ascension hospitals. What revive questions about the use by Google of health data managed by Ascension.
A health data usage that poses a question
However, Google’s public cloud service wanted to make things clear. In a blog post, his management said Ascension will remain “the data custodian and Google Cloud Platform will provide services on its behalf.”
“This partnership will allow Ascension to modernize its infrastructure and migrate its data warehouse and on-premise analytics environments to its own private, secure Google Cloud environment.
Key elements of this agreement will include connectivity of networks and systems, data integration, privacy and security, and compliance, “said the management of Alphabet’s subsidiary.
” As part of this agreement, Ascension data can not be used for any purpose apart from providing these services that you can expect underneath the agreement, and data that are patient not and certainly will not be available. coupled with Google consumer information, “said Tariq Shaukat, president of Google Cloud’s industry-leading products and solutions, without outlining the deal, which promises to function as the largest ever signed. by Google in the field of health.
Haro in the linked health sector And to specify that
” the data will be hosted in a virtual private area and encrypted with dedicated keys. The patient data remain in this secure environment and are not used for purposes other than the maintenance of the product on behalf of Ascension. “
“In particular, the data covered by this contract will not be used to sell ads,” said the leader, indicating that the files will be subject to annual audits of Google provided by external auditors to verify the proper implementation of “systems and processes necessary to ensure access control, data isolation, registration, and verification”.
As a reminder, the agreement reached by Google follows the announcement of the purchase by the American giant Fitbit for the sum of $ 2.1 billion. An operation that will allow the subsidiary of Alphabet to settle a little more on this major niche that is health, a buoyant market that fuels the greed of many actors of the sector.