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Can technology craft the ‘new normal’ in healthcare?

The global healthcare industry is always evolving to meet the changing needs of society. According to Deloitte’s 2020 healthcare report, the industry must overcome the following challenges: population growth and aging, increasing prevalence of chronic conditions, rising staff shortages, and growing labor costs. Technology can help accomplish this daunting task.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can drive the healthcare sector to shift towards prevention, early intervention, and increased accessibility. Leading global healthcare experts agree and tell Forbes that AI and digital solutions will reinvent today’s healthcare sector. CB Insights reports that in Q2’20, AI startups received over $1B in funding. Curious how AI solutions enable this shift to come to life? And how these solutions can be adjusted to help understand a new virus? The unique story of Diagnostic Robotics speaks for itself.

Diagnostic Robotics

Founded in August 2017, Diagnostic Robotics aims to improve the quality, affordability, and availability of healthcare. By leveraging AI and available medical data, Diagnostic Robotics creates monitoring systems that identify disease symptoms and inform physicians about further steps. Their platform ultimately automates the prediction of patient diagnoses. It helps prevent the spread of diseases, reduces the cost of medical triage systems, and lowers the burden on medical personnel.

“Our mission at Diagnostic Robotics is to improve patients’ experience and support healthcare providers by creating seamless, data-driven interactions that reduce administrative burdens and curb the costs of care.”

— Yonatan Amir, co-founder and CEO at Diagnostic Robotics

Data in the fight against COVID-19

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Israeli Ministry of Health developed a strategy that included daily nation-wide population monitoring of coronavirus-related symptoms. Tasked with monitoring, Diagnostic Robotics had to adapt and scale its existing clinical triage system to monitor Israel’s population of 8 million in real-time for an unknown disease. It was a race against the clock. Therefore, Diagnostic Robotics asked Google Cloud for help in deploying the system throughout Israel. The undertaking was completed within three days.

Every day, the Diagnostic Robotics system asks the Israeli people to complete a questionnaire about their symptoms. This way, the company was able to identify specific COVID-19 symptoms before academic publications did, such as extreme fatigue and loss of smell and taste. “This kind of information changed the guidelines for Israel to run COVID-19 tests’’, states Dr. Radinsky, Chairwoman and CTO. The anonymous information creates a heat map of the spread of COVID-19 in Israel. 83% of Israel’s population fills in the questionnaire every day, and 25% complete it weekly. Together, these data identify virus hotspots earlier than official statistics can, enabling the country to respond to the virus promptly by sending COVID-19 tests and resources to the regions needing them most.

Technology for speed and scalability

Since its founding, Diagnostic Robotics has relied on Google Cloud infrastructure. Amir states that they implemented most Google Cloud solutions before the pandemic, allowing easy scaling to manage the new demand for Diagnostic Robotic’s platform. The platform has since been offered to governments worldwide. "The Google Kubernetes Engine was a major component of our success, because it enabled us to scale very quickly in terms of workload and geography, using its managed services. We went from monitoring the symptoms of eight million people in Israel to 50 million in India in a matter of days,” he explains. 

In addition, Diagnostic Robotics makes use of the fully managed relational database Cloud SQL. It helps scale and automate the company’s database provisioning. Meanwhile, Compute Engine ensures the applications are capable of scaling globally, and Google Cloud Operations tools monitor, improve, and solve issues related to application performance. Finally, the Cloud Content Delivery Network provides a consistently fast worldwide mobile site performance for users worldwide. Yonatan adds: “Google Cloud helps us to be where support is needed, and we will continue relying on its infrastructure to make healthcare better, cheaper, and more widely available worldwide.”

By improving healthcare accessibility and providing lifesaving insights, tech solutions like that of Diagnostic Robotics play a vital role in beating this virus and upgrading our healthcare system. Google Cloud is a proud supporter of such initiatives.