In October of 2020, Google announced a public preview of its Cloud Healthcare Consent Management API and established a roadmap for developing this Resource into a valuable asset for healthcare application developers and clinical researchers. This API has now transitioned to general availability.
During the short preview period, Google’s development partners have used the API to create personalized patient portals, leverage consent in order to integrate data into clinical workflows, and bolster the enablement of virtual clinical trials. As healthcare data interoperability and cloud systems proliferate throughout the healthcare ecosystem, developers have been required to design new solutions for consent management that tackle emerging problems as they appear. As the Google product announcement notes, COVID-19 has only further highlighted the need for a robust and comprehensive set of solutions for these problems:
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare organizations have quickly embraced concepts like virtual care and remote trials. As a result, healthcare application developers and researchers have needed easy and secure ways to manage patient consent. Further, the explosion of rich data generated by devices such as glucose monitors, wearables, and other sources have emphasized the importance of patient consent and privacy, as patients and caregivers look to safely incorporate data from more sources into their care plans.”
The Healthcare Consent Management API is intended to provide a proactive solution in light of the ongoing emergence of consent frameworks that would be cumbersome to develop for if tackled individually. The API allows healthcare administrators to tailor the solution based on their organization’s privacy standards and terminology. When an application provides an end-user with a privacy contract, the API is able to update or create a corresponding consent record that states the user’s preference. This consent designation is then able to inform the way that data is written to datastores. This strategy allows providers to easily determine in the future what data can be accessed based on a simple query to the API.