LAS VEGAS — Healthcare organizations should turn to machine learning to deal with vast and growing mountains of healthcare data, former Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said at the opening keynote of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference Monday.
"Healthcare is becoming an information science," Schmidt said in his talk, "Technology for a Healthier Future: Modernization, Machine Learning and Moonshots."
That technology can tap healthcare data so physicians can intervene earlier to improve outcomes and move toward value-based care, he said.
The problem isn't so much classifying data as it is making predictions using that data, according to Schmidt.
The key is getting all the data in one place, normalizing them and running longitudinal trend analysis.
"We're much closer than you think," Schmidt said. "This is fundamentally a search problem, and Google is very good at search problems."
Earlier Monday, Alphabet announced the Google Cloud healthcare API, which healthcare organizations can tap to gather all sorts of healthcare data, which they can then apply machine learning and other tools to.
Schmidt's speech kicked off the five-day HIMSS convention and expo in Las Vegas, where tens of thousands of health IT vendors, providers and others will meet.