- Google Cloud makes it easier for healthcare entities to comply with HHS' April data-sharing deadlines.
- And the HHS deadline will no longer be able to put off despite the impacts of the pandemic.
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The tech giant's cloud arm lifted the curtain on its Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program that helps healthcare organizations devise a plan to standardize and integrate their data in compliance with the HHS' mandates by April 2021.
Payers and providers are struggling to comply with the looming interoperability mandates—and as many healthcare organizations contend with the impacts of the pandemic, quick and easy-to-deploy solutions like Google Cloud's will become need-to-have.
The US government has already pushed back its deadline for compliance with rules that mandate healthcare entities to boost data-sharing a couple of times this year, allowing physicians more time to ensure that their electronic health record (EHR) systems are interoperable.
But since US healthcare entities are still contending with the coronavirus pandemic, they likely aren't ready to take on an overhaul of their data-sharing practices: For example, earlier this month, 80% of providers reported that the pandemic has impacted their preparedness to abide by the HHS' new interoperability standards, according to a survey of 180 healthcare organizations from the eHealth Initiative.
This means data-sharing efforts have been low on health execs' priority lists, making ready-to-deploy solutions an attractive proposition: Most (79%) of payers and providers (69%) said they'd consider using a vendor to meet the HHS' impending deadlines.
Google Cloud is in a good position to land deals as healthcare entities race to comply with the April deadline, and the tech giant can create a bundling opportunity with its myriad healthcare solutions a la Microsoft's Cloud for Healthcare. For example, the tech giant inked a $100 million deal with telehealth vendor Amwell in August, which will allow Amwell to seamlessly host virtual visits and patient data.
And last month, it rolled out a suite of AI tools that hit on doctors' admin headaches by making it easier to extract important insights from medical text, for instance. It would make sense if Google Cloud is considering consolidating its healthcare-focused offerings: This would put it in a prime position to compete with fellow tech giant Microsoft, which has earned the highest benchmark ranking among payers and providers for having the strongest healthcare AI offering among other tech cos—and it's already combined its Teams, Azure IoT, and chatbots services to form Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare earlier this year.
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