Google’s DeepMind unit is developing software to improve, quicken, healthcare


Google’s DeepMind unit was founded to help solve some of societies biggest challenges. Google quickly realized how health, and the problems associated with the healthcare field, was one of the most important challenges facing the human race. With this in mind, the decision was made to focus on healthcare, and great strides have been made in the area. DeepMind has just released its care improving Streams app, and it has just acquired Hark, a system that dramatically improves the quickness of the entire healthcare process.

Streams is a mobile application- developed and piloted in partnership with the United Kingdoms leading kidney care experts at the Royal Free Hospital -which presents timely information that helps nurses and doctors detect cases of acute kidney injury. Apparently this disease is a factor in 20% of emergency hospitalizations and about 40,000 deaths in the United Kingdom. An estimated 25% of total cases are preventable, and DeepMind decided to do something about that.

Basically the app allows physicians to review the blood test results of patients at risk of AKI within seconds of the test being administered. With the quickness of result analysis, this app makes it easier for the physician to test more people then ever. This app then helps the physician to digitally organize all these patients so that the physician can prioritize the most high risk patients, and receive direct results about their patients AKI right onto their mobile phones.

Google DeepMind realizes that identifying patients at risk is only the first part of the problem. If physicians treat their patients within a timely manner then what is the point of even identifying the risk? DeepMind asked this question and saw that the answer was Hark. Hark is an early stage clinical task management app created by Professor Ara Darzi and Dr Dominic King from Imperial College London. Basically these two men thought that if they could remove all the redundancies- think faxes, paperwork, hand-written notes, and then keeping track of all this and organizing it -from the healthcare process then healthcare centers could dramatically increase the amount of sick that could be treated. DeepMind loved the direction these two men were heading in, and decided to collaborate on the testing and further development of the application.

Hark tries to remove all redundancies from the healthcare center by centering everything around the healthcare professionals cellphones. By making all communications digital, Hark was able to speed up physicians response time by a whopping 37% in a pilot test at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. That is a pretty incredible effect.

This DeepMind project is just one part of the push Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been making into the healthcare field. Other examples of pushes into the healthcare field are Calico, the firms unit to help fight age, the life-sciences research group Verily, and the general scientific research, like DeepMind, that Google does. And I am sure there is going to be even more to come with successes like Google’s DeepMind initiative.

It is great to see Alphabet using its massive resources to help solve real human problems. It may just look like a technology company, but if this massive push it has been making into solving real human problems continues, it may just turn into a human company.

Source: Google DeepMind

About the Author: Ryan Rabea

Born and raised right outside of Philadelphia, Ryan recently defected to the west, now residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying political science. Ryan loves all things political, with aspirations to attend law school in the Fall, followed by a career in the world of politics. When not debating politics or hunkered down studying in the Cathedral of Learning, you can find Ryan having an epic catch or wandering God’s country, Pittsburgh’s South Side. In addition to politics, Ryan has loved Android ever since getting his first Android phone, the HTC EVO 4G, almost 6 years ago. Currently though, Ryan sports a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but he can hear that Nexus 6P calling his name.