The chief health officer at Google has said that the internet giant wants to be transparent and honest so it can be “trusted” by consumers.
Speaking on the first day of NHS ConfedExpo, Dr Karen DeSalvo spoke about Google’s vision for the future of healthcare including how the company can help by “aggregating data by making it more interoperable and then providing insights”.
Questions surrounding trust were also raised with DeSalvo saying it [trust] was ‘job one’ when it comes to practicing medicine.
She added: “If the patient and family don’t trust you, they are not going to tell you the things you need to know and that trust doesn’t just come because they like you, it comes because you are credible, you show up when you need to, when you follow up, you are transparent and honest.
“I think that’s they way we [at Google] have to approach this work.”
DeSalvo also said Google “want to be trusted by consumers” and that by partnering up with organisations like the NHS and others was one way to help build confidence in the company. This reflects YouTube Health (which is owned by Google) recently announcing that had partnered with the NHS to create a new feature which will help people in the UK find credible health information online.
Another topic discussed during the session in Liverpool was empowering patients with the right tools. DeSalvo explained how all too often that when health systems are built, there is too much focus on “the bricks and water and the delivery system” and not providing patients with the tools they need.
She also encouraged the NHS to meet patients “where they are”.
“We have the tools and technology today to do that – we don’t have to require people to take off work or take transportation for a visit that could be done virtually,” DeSalvo said.
“Please think about meeting people where they are and empowering them with tools that make them feel like when they are entering an ecosystem that they have the right to be there, right to ask questions and they know the steps to take.”