Google strikes deal with start-up to offer AI medical scanning to detect cancer via its cloud
The deal allows Google to compete with Microsoft and Amazon, and help Zebra Medical Vision scale its business
By Arjun Kharpal
Zebra Medical Vision, an artificial intelligence (AI) health start-up, has partnered with Google to offer its algorithms on the search giant’s cloud.
The Israeli firm has created AI algorithms to read medical scans and detect anything untoward before humans can. Currently, its software can spot issues such as liver and lung disease and it is working on capabilities to recognise breast cancer and lung cancer.
Zebra recently announced that all of its algorithms will be available to use for US$1 per scan. So, each time a hospital uses the algorithm to study a medical scan it will be charged US$1.
But currently, Zebra’s software is installed on-site, which can be costly for hospitals having to pay for servers to store the imaging. That’s why Zebra has partnered with Google to offer its algorithms as part of the Google Cloud.
Major hospitals and health care systems are slowly moving their data storage to the cloud, which offers a cheaper way to keep large amounts of information. Companies like Microsoft, Google and Amazon offer such services. But these technology giants also provide added services on top of their clouds, such as data analytics and AI capabilities.
Both Microsoft and Amazon have special tools in the cloud focused on areas of medicine such as genomics or drug development. Google has been trying to push the health care side of its cloud platform in the past few months.
The partnership with Google can help the search giant bolster its cloud efforts as it competes with Amazon and Microsoft in the fast-growing space. And for Zebra, the deal could mean the ability to scale its business faster.
“We see two strong trends coming to place — one is the urgent need for more scalable and secure storage for hospitals due to the overwhelming amounts of digital data. The other urgent need is how to analyse this data quickly and accurately to bring value to doctors and patients,” Eyal Gura, Zebra Medical Vision co-founder and chairman, told CNBC.
“The new collaboration we just announced with Google Cloud will enable hospitals and patients to realise value from both trends.”