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Six tech giants sign health data interoperability pledge

Google, Amazon, and IBM joined forces with Microsoft, Salesforce, and Oracle to pledge to speed up the progress of health data standards and interoperability.

This new alliance’s pledge will have a very positive impact on healthcare as it will become easier to share medical data among hospitals. Both physicians and patients will have easier access to information, which will lead to faster diagnosis and treatment.

The companies claim that this project will lead to a so-called 'triple aim' of better outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, and lower costs.

In particular, this deal is good news for the companies’ artificial intelligence (AI) divisions. If health data is fully standardised and interoperable, the “smarter” AI can progress faster. Breaking down barriers between chunks of big data will create extremely large data sets, allowing extensive machine learning to boost AI's effectiveness and revolutionise healthcare systems.

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) issued a letter, signed by all six tech giants, which states that they are “jointly committed to removing barriers for the adoption of technologies for healthcare interoperability, particularly those that are enabled through the cloud and AI”.

In this letter, the technology giants also claimed that they will base this alliance on four foundational assumptions: frictionless and safe exchange of healthcare data, healthcare data interoperability,  open standards, open specifications and open source tools, and a commitment to actively engage “among open source and open standards communities for the development of healthcare standards, and conformity assessment to foster agility to account for the accelerated pace of innovation”.

There are currently over 100 companies that apply AI algorithms and predictive analytics to healthcare, with the above mentioned six giants leading the way. The highly developed AI programmes now have the increasing capacity to delve into big data, identify patterns, and generate algorithms to explain them.

These programmes can help researchers generate more accurate hypotheses faster, making the drug discovery process less expensive and more effective. In addition, the database of electronic medical records and public health data can be analysed to identify hidden patterns that can lead to the quick identification of potential molecular targets for a disease.

GlobalData believes that this historical collaboration between the biggest AI players will lead to enormous advances in AI, which itself will lead to earlier diagnoses and better treatments at a lower cost.

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Credit: Uladzik Kryhin /