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Google in health, privacy, and the patient as consumer.

February 17, 2020

Happy President’s Day to our readers in the U.S.

In my latest podcast, Paul Black, CEO of Allscripts shares his thoughts on what it means to treat patients like consumers, the ongoing debate around patient data access and the proposed HHS ruling, and how Allscripts is embracing new technologies like cloud and voice to transform its solutions portfolio. Paul advises health systems looking to harness innovation to bring together outside help with industry experience and their own organizational knowledge from a clinician standpoint to accelerate transformation. Take a listen.

Google was everywhere in the news last week (and the week before. And it seemed like the week before that too). While the media focus has been on the ongoing “techlash” against big firms over data privacy rights, it emerged that Google Health has quietly become a 500-person organization under Dr. David Feinberg, former CEO of Geisinger Health. Meanwhile, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, racing to catch up with leaders AWS and Azure, rationalized his group and eliminated a bunch of positions. The slew of data-sharing agreements signed by Google Cloud in the past few quarters seem to indicate that Google Cloud is establishing the beachhead for Alphabet’s ambitions in the healthcare space.

Coming back to the patient as consumer, Providence Health CDO Aaron Martin cautions health systems that they could be at risk of irrelevance in the ongoing wave of consumerization if they fail to adopt digital health tools. There’s some encouraging news: two new industry surveys indicate that a new generation of digital-native physicians is embracing digital tools, and that consumers are willing to use digital health tools – provided they come with a recommendation from a trusted source like their employer.

Digital transformation in healthcare: our picks for the week

Google Health, the company’s newest product area, has ballooned to more than 500 employees

Google Health’s org. structure under former Geisinger CEO Dr. David Feinstein is gaining prominence as Alphabet makes a big play in healthcare through the Google Cloud business.

Google Cuts Jobs at Cloud-Computing Group

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian rationalizes his group while stating their commitment to a handful of industry sectors, including healthcare.

Epic to gather records of 20 million patients for medical research

Epic’s COSMOS project gains momentum.

FTC Expands Antitrust Investigation Into Big Tech

Should we now expect ripples up and down the VC funding landscape as potential exits to big tech firms look more challenging?

Google’s Fitbit Deal Tests Merger Cops Eyeing Data Giants

In the ongoing “techlash” against big firms, this one merger might just become a casualty.

Federated learning: collaboration without compromise for health care research

How federated machine learning, an approach that leaves data where it is and exposes it to partners to runs algorithms, improves outcomes while protecting privacy.

‘Once-in-a-generation’ South Loop project gets boost from Pritzker with $500M funding move

A plug for my hometown Chicago which is turning into a major tech destination.

Frog debuts a radical new business model. Can it save independent design?

Now that design is the killer app, consulting firms like Frog that have been around 50 years, are wondering if it’s time they had a share of the spoils. Read my piece last year on how design is influencing digital health.

Providers must invest in consumer technologies, or risk irrelevance

Aaron Martin, CDO of Providence Health, makes the case that the rapid consumerization of healthcare puts many traditional health systems at the risk of irrelevance.

AMA sees surge in health IT adoption, ‘rise of the digital-native physician’

Amidst the hand-wringing around the risks of losing out to digitally savvy upstarts, some encouraging news for digital health evangelists in health systems.

Survey: Most employees willing to give employer-provided digital health tools a chance

Even more encouraging news for digital health evangelists as a new survey indicates consumers are ready for digital health tools – but only with a recommendation from a trusted source.

IKEA Promises New Data Controls for Consumers

The new competitive differentiator – Respect for privacy. IKEA promises broad new data controls for consumers that are easy to understand and appear in context on its digital platforms.

Health apps collecting sensitive data need more transparent terms of service, law experts argue

Health apps collecting data should be required to obtain affirmative consent from users for change of terms.

Amazon Maintains Convincing Lead in US Smart Speaker Market

Amazon leads the smart speaker market by a wide margin. Expect to see more Alexa-enabled applications in healthcare.

10 reasons why health care startups fail

Great advice for digital health startups.

The latest from Damo Consulting

Podcast- Episode #36: With Paul Black, CEO, Allscripts

“Every patient has a right to control where their health data goes.”

The WITCH Monthly Monitor (January)

Our monthly update on major global IT consulting and services firms in healthcare. It provides latest financial and market performance updates on WITCH companies along with other global IT consulting firms.

Damo Consulting announces inaugural Board of Advisors 

Damo Consulting is very pleased to welcome Ed Marx and John Glaser to our inaugural board of advisors.

White paper: What health systems must do to accelerate digital transformation

Our latest white paper explores how health systems can accelerate digital transformation.

The WITCH Report: 2019 Mid-Year Review

A review of the financial and market performance of global technology consulting firms in healthcare.

Research Report: The current state of healthcare digital transformation

Our latest research report explores the current state of digital transformation in healthcare.


Coronavirus conversations

March 23, 2020 Starting this week, I am doing a series of podcast interviews with healthcare IT leaders who are now in the spotlight as

Extreme social distancing

March 16, 2020 For the coming weeks, this newsletter will focus on curating articles from credible sources that provide useful information on the coronavirus crisis.

What Hath God Wrought?

March 09, 2020 I borrow the subject line this week from the first ever telegraph message by Samuel F.B. Morse in 1843. Now, as then,

No handshakes, please. Namaste.

March 02, 2020 As I write this, HIMSS2020 is set to proceed as scheduled, with additional precautions to prevent any possible risk of infection with