Google, Harvard team up for better insights into health IT

A new executive education program brings Google staff to Harvard Medical School in an attempt to help them better align technology with the needs of healthcare.

It's not about learning what the liver is and how it works--you can Google that; rather, the course's fundamental premise focuses on teaching how doctors think, according to an article.

The course looks at how diagnoses are made, how data drives healthcare and how healthcare delivery can vary geographically and demographically in the hope that Google tech experts can create better tools for the industry.

In October, the group took a field trip to observe the implementation of ICD-10 on its first day. They were aghast at the inefficiencies they saw, according to the article.

"Physicians recognize that technology sometimes creates serious obstacles within already challenging work flows, including delays, inefficiencies and adverse events. Clearly, when it comes to developing new solutions, there's a lot of work to be done," Stanley Shaw, HMS assistant professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and co‐director of the program, told the students.

Google and other tech companies have the potential to help address some unmet needs, whether it's from the patient's viewpoint or the physician's, according to Shaw.

Investments in healthcare by Google Ventures have dramatically increased since 2012, FierceHealthIT has reported. Google recently announced its artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, is entering the healthcare sector with a focus on clinician-led technology to improve care and it's entering the payer realm with advanced data analytics.

To learn more:
- here's the article