Google, WHO partner to build digital health tools for providers

Google is partnering with the World Health Organization to build an open-source developer kit to empower healthcare providers in low- and middle-income countries.

Many healthcare providers across the world use smartphone apps to help guide decision-making in treating medical conditions, using them to update and access medical records. "However, the data is often stored across multiple applications using different data formats, making it difficult for healthcare workers to have all the information they need," read a Dec. 8 press release. Exchanging data between providers is also difficult, inhibiting a holistic view on community health. 

Thus, in partnership with WHO, Google is developing a software developer kit. The kit will allow Android apps to store information offline, combating connectivity problems. It also helps guide clinical decision-making and it is being used to develop the EmCare app, an app for healthcare professionals in emergency settings containing information based on WHO guidelines.

Providing a common ground for developers, the kit will reduce the time and energy it takes to create interoperable healthcare resources. The press release emphasized the security of the data.

"All data stored by apps built on the SDK is strongly encrypted, and the SDK does not send or share any data with Google," it read.

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