Google's cloud arm on Monday publicly launched an application programming interface designed to link healthcare data with third-party applications.
Healthcare and life sciences organizations that implement the API will be able to use it to transmit data from their existing information systems to applications on hosted on Google Cloud. They'll also be able to use it to apply Google Cloud's analytics and machine-learning tools to the data.
"Today, healthcare organizations are in dire need of easy-to-use technology that supports health information exchange," Dr. Joe Corkery, director of product for healthcare and life sciences at Google Cloud, and Aashima Gupta, director of industry solutions for healthcare and life sciences at Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post announcing the tool.
Essentially, the API would provide users with a "bridge between existing care systems and applications hosted on Google Cloud," according to the API's product page.
Mayo Clinic has been using the API since last year as part of a 10-year agreement with Google Cloud.
"Google Cloud's Healthcare API accelerates data liquidity among stakeholders," Dr. John Halamka, president of Mayo Clinic Platform, said in a statement.
APIs, the tools that connect different types of software to one another, received a boost in healthcare last month when two HHS agencies released final rules requiring healthcare providers and insurers to adopt the technology. The Trump administration's vision is for patients to one day be able to use APIs to download their medical data from standard healthcare systems to a smartphone app of their choice.
While final versions of the rules have been released online, they haven't been officially published in the Federal Register yet and therefore aren't enforceable.
Still, Corkery and Gupta gave the rules a nod in their Google Cloud announcement, saying the regulations have "laid the foundation for progress" in healthcare interoperability.
Microsoft Corp.'s cloud arm Azure launched a similar API for healthcare organizations early last year.
Google's Cloud Healthcare API represents another step the tech giant and its parent company Alphabet are taking into healthcare. Late last year details emerged on a partnership between Google and Ascension, one of the nation's largest health systems, sparking privacy concerns over how the company intended to manage and access patient data.