Google Rolls Out AI Tool For Understanding Genomes

Meg Bryant, HealthcareDive

December 7, 2017

Google on Monday launched Deep Variant, an open source tool that uses artificial intelligence to create a picture of a person’s genetic blueprint using sequencing data.

Developed by the Google Brain team and Alphabet’s Verily life sciences subsidiary, Deep Variant is available on Google Cloud.

The move is part of a broader goal to apply the company’s technologies to healthcare and other scientific applications.

Dive Insight:


This is the latest example of big tech companies vying for a piece of the healthcare sector. While Google seems focused on life sciences and treatment, initiatives like this and the recent CVS-Aetna and Optum-DaVita deals suggest the private sector is eager for change that brings increased efficiencies.


The goal with efforts like Deep Variant is to pinpoint specific genes or gene mutations that can help providers better manage disease states.


Google has ventured into AI before. In 2016, Google DeepMind teamed up with Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the UK to determine whether using machine learning technology to analyze eye scans could speed detection and treatment of degenerative eye diseases.


The healthcare industry has been cautious about adopting AI, but many believe AI and cognitive learning can help clinicians perform routine tasks more efficiently and increase engagement and treatment options using precision medicine. Jvion recently debuted an AI-enabled product, developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, that helps to providers identify vulnerable patients and intervene to reduce preventable deaths.

Posted in: Medical Affairs, R&D

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