Google Health today hosted its annual The Checkup Up event with announcements spanning Search, Fitbit Health Metrics, AI, and developer tools.
Fitbit Health Metrics
If you use a Fitbit device, the in-app Health Metrics Dashboard tracks a week’s worth of Breathing rate, Heart-rate variability (HRV), Skin temperature, Oxygen saturation (SpO2), and Resting heart rate (RHR).
At the moment, only those subscribed to Fitbit Premium get trends and longer-term historical data (up to 90 days), but that’s soon changing:
Later this month we will make more of Fitbit’s Health Metrics Dashboard feature available without a subscription to people using Fitbit with compatible devices in countries where the feature is available.
Meanwhile, Google has used Duplex to call “hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers in the U.S. to verify their information on Google Search,” as well as to find out if “providers accept certain Medicaid plans in their state.” Speaking of Medicaid, Google is better surfacing re-enrollment information, as well as “providers that identify as community health centers offering free or low cost care.”
Google today announced a new partnership with ThroughLine in New Zealand to “increase the number of crisis helplines that appear at the top of search results in additional languages and countries for searches related to suicide, domestic violence and other personal crisis topics.”
Open Health Stack
Google wants to make it easier to build apps for healthcare workers by offering “open-source building blocks built on an interoperable data standard” with Open Health Stack. This includes making it easier to access information and find other insights, with data being stored securely while being available offline.
For example, healthcare workers in rural areas may be able to quickly access the information they need to care for a patient diagnosed with tuberculosis by using these apps, or they can access population health data to better monitor community health.
Google is exploring ultrasound device, which are affordable and portable, and AI models that help “identify important information like gestational age in expecting mothers,” as well as for use in breast cancer detection:
Mammograms, which are X-rays of the breast, are typically used to screen for breast cancer and are a proven approach to reducing mortality. However, screening programs aren’t available in many regions due to high costs.
Meanwhile, work with the Mayo Clinic on using AI as part of cancer treatment continues”
As of today, we’re formalizing our agreement with Mayo Clinic to explore further research, model development and commercialization. Taking these next steps with Mayo Clinic means that together we can extend the reach of our model, with the goal of helping more patients receive radiotherapy treatment sooner.
Lastly, Google is partnering to make AI-powered chest x-ray screening for tuberculosis, which is treatable but requires cost-effective detection, more widely available:
We’re partnering with an AI-based organization headed by Right to Care, a not-for-profit entity with extensive experience in TB care within Africa, to make AI-powered screenings widely available across Sub-Saharan Africa.
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