The headline of the story
Friday brought some bad news for Google as the medical records giant Epic’s account reps announce that they want to discontinue their integration with Google’s cloud, it was reported by CNBC’s Chrissy Farr.
Epic’s spokesperson also told customers the company would instead concentrate on securing a deal with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
The reps claimed that the company decided to stop development with Google Cloud because consumers of its health systems didn’t see sufficient interest to ensure the investments.
Calls have come in recent weeks and have been directed to Epic’s customer base who use Google’s cloud-based technology for medical research, data storage, and basic IT operations, including file sharing.
Google’s latest research in the Healthcare industry
Currently, Google is working on a health record search tool; for the moment, they are experimenting using synthetic data. The tool is designed to reduce the number of clicks while searching for a patient’s record, and Clinicians will also have access to a unified view of information generally distributed across multiple systems, including vitals, medicines, laboratories, and notes.
All of this is explained in a video by a Google Executive.
A spokesperson from Epic said the company refused to comment on a specific vendor.
Epic’s R&D vice president Seth Hain said in a statement, “We invest substantial time and engineering effort in evaluating and understanding the infrastructure Epic runs on. Scalability, reliability, and security are important factors we consider when evaluating these underlying technologies.”
“We focus our effort on the infrastructure the Epic community uses today and is likely to use in the future – including both public cloud offerings and on-premises servers and storage. No part of these efforts grants infrastructure vendors the right to use the data that may reside on their infrastructure.”
Current Market Standing
In cloud computing world Google Cloud lags well behind AWS and Microsoft Azure in terms of market share. As per Gartner’s latest report on public cloud computing infrastructure market shows that AWS owns almost half the world market for public cloud infrastructure, which is followed by Microsoft Azure (15.5%), Alibaba (7.7%), Google (4%), and IBM (1.8%).
As it seeks to expand its client base for its cloud products, in 2019, Google had scored big names in healthcare partners such as Mayo Clinic. In September, the hospital announced a strategic partnership for 10 years with Google to use the cloud platform of the technology giant to accelerate innovation through digital technologies.
The new development deal with Epic comes up as Google is facing harsh criticism, scrutinized from regulators and lawmakers, concerning its data deal with health system Ascension. In November, news came to light that, as part of a partnership with Ascension, Google collected personal health information from millions of American citizens that sparked privacy concerns.
House Democrats urge Google and Alphabet executives for answers on how their company going to use the health data they collect and procedures they have in place for the protection of that data.
Amazon adds fuel to the fire
This news becomes more alarming because recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that Epic’s competitor Cerner has decided against pursuing a data storage deal with Google, notwithstanding the tech giant offers $250 million in discounts and incentives. Google officials were ambiguous in answering questions about how Cerner’s data would be used, leaving executives of the healthcare company suspicious, people familiar with the matter said, as per the WSJ’s reporting.
Amazon lands the deal with Cerner instead.
The flunked Cerner deal exhibits an emerging challenge to Google’s move into health care: Gaining trust from health care partners and the public. Until now, the search giant has hardly slowed, the WSJ reported.