To make genetic testing a routine part of patient care, Stanford University School of Medicine will soon launch its Clinical Genomics Service, powered by Google Genomics, that stores DNA data in the cloud.

Under the agreement, Stanford and Google will build cloud-based apps to analyse healthcare data sets with the aim of improving patient care and medical research.

The service will allow Stanford’s doctors to order genomic sequencing for patients who have distinctive or unusual symptoms that might be caused by a wayward gene. Stanford doctors will analyse the data and compare it with data stored on the system to find any anomalies. In turn, it may make it possible for providers to treat different cancers and decipher rare illnesses.

“In the past few years, the amount of available data about healthcare has exploded,” said Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr Lloyd Minor.

“While researchers are learning to integrate this big data, putting it to work for individual patients, in real time, is a huge challenge. Our collaboration with Google will help us to meet this challenge,” continued Dr Minor.

Under the agreement, Google becomes a formal business associate of Stanford Medicine and as such will be held responsible for protecting patient data under HIPAA. Further, all patient data stored on Google Cloud Platform servers will remain private and encrypted.

“This agreement brings together expertise in three areas: data science, life science research and clinical care. The next decade of improvements in understanding and advancing healthcare are going to come from leaders in those three areas working together to build the next generation of platforms, tools and data,” said Vice President of Google’s Engineering for Industry Solutions, Sam Schillace.

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