April 21, 2022 Episode 041

Google Cloud’s Aashima Gupta on Big Tech’s Platform Play in Healthcare

Director of global healthcare solutions at Google Cloud, Aashima Gupta, discusses Google’s strategic approach to empowering innovation and growing its footprint in healthcare.

Google Cloud’s Aashima Gupta on Big Tech’s Platform Play in Healthcare

Aashima Gupta was a rising star in the financial technology world at organizations including Fidelity Investments and JPMorgan Chase, but after her father passed away suddenly due to health reasons, she turned her technical talents towards improving healthcare. After five years in leading technical roles at Kaiser Permante and two years leading healthcare strategy at the API and analytics company Apigee, she became director of global healthcare solutions at Google Cloud through its acquisition of Apigee.

While historically big tech has had little insight into what is happening on the ground within vertical markets – including healthcare – that paradigm is shifting. As part of this evolution, cloud infrastructure companies are tailoring solutions to meet specific needs and advance digital transformation within industries like healthcare. This is the crux of Aashima’s role at Google Cloud where she focuses on applying Google Cloud technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, mobile and APIs to help companies in the healthcare ecosystem identify new care models, improve patient experiences, generate new revenue streams and securely share data.

In this episode of Healthcare is Hard, Aashima talks to Keith Figlioli about her journey from Fintech to Digital Health and shares insight into Google’s strategy to transform healthcare. Topics they discuss include:

  • The pace of innovation in digital health. Aashima recounts her transition to healthcare and the biggest differences with the pace of innovation. She had often dealt with mission critical systems in past roles at some of the world’s largest financial services organizations, but recognized quickly after moving to Kaiser Permanente that she was now dealing with life critical systems. She talks about the shifts in culture and mindset that a career in healthcare technology requires.
  • Google’s most recent healthcare news. Google’s core mission is to democratize access to information, and its recent announcements about integrating features for scheduling medical appointments directly into search results shows how that mission extends to healthcare. These new features aim to address one of the most significant barriers to getting care: the ability to find an appointment. Aashima discusses how these new developments fit into Google’s larger vision for healthcare innovation and the company’s ongoing efforts to expand partnerships with third parties.
  • Democratizing AI in healthcare. As a platform that fills a critical infrastructure role for organizations across the healthcare ecosystem – from payers and providers, to life science companies, tech vendors and more – Google Cloud places an intense focus on empowering these companies through advanced technologies like AI. With years of experience building, deploying and maintaining machine learning for its own use and incorporating that institutional knowledge into its cloud platform, Google is helping to democratize AI and accelerate healthcare innovation. As an example, Aashima points to customers that can train AI models using 80% fewer lines of code than they would need otherwise.
  • Responsible use of AI. Google recognizes the power of AI and the equally powerful questions it raises about using it responsibly – especially in healthcare. Aashima shares how Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai, has been directly involved with the company’s principles for responsible AI innovation. She talks about how the company uses tools like “model cards,” which describe AI algorithms in a similar way to nutrition labels on food packaging, and how it’s pushing for these to play a foundational role in the future of AI.

To hear Aashima and Keith talk about these topics and more, listen to the full episode of Healthcare is Hard: A Podcast for Insiders.