Google reportedly hints at modifying cloud to support physicians' faxes

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Google may be developing a service that lets physicians fax medical information to its cloud storage platform Google Drive, CNBC's digital health reporter Christina Farr reports.

The service was demoed at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual trade show Feb. 11-14 in Orlando, Fla., and described as a "prototype of the possibilities enabled by [application programming interfaces] and an open cloud platform," according to the report.

Fax machines are still widely used in healthcare, and the service could offer one way for Google to differentiate its cloud from competitors like Microsoft and Amazon — two companies also making moves in healthcare.

Microsoft recently released an Azure API that uses Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, a standardized data format designed to enable seamless data sharing. Amazon in November unveiled an EHR data-mining tool that connects to its cloud platform Amazon Web Services.

At a separate conference Feb. 12 — the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco — Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said that the company was trying to ramp up its cloud strategy.

"We are hiring some of the best talent from around the industry to grow our sales organization, and you will see us competing much more aggressively as we go forward," he said.

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