Medical software company tells customers it won't use Google Cloud amid privacy concerns

Epic Systems, a medical software company, is reportedly no longer considering Google Cloud as an option for its storage technology.

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Representatives began calling customers to inform them of Epic Systems' decision to drop Google as a partner in its efforts to stay up to date with its health care management technology, following several other health care systems, CNBC reported, citing three people with knowledge of the decision.

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Epic Systems, which has one of the country's largest health care record systems, is considering partnerships with either Amazon Web Services or Microsoft's Azure due to a lack of customer interest in Google, according to the report.

"We invest substantial time and engineering effort in evaluating and understanding the infrastructure Epic runs on," Seth Hain, Epic Systems' vice president of research and development, told CNBC in a statement. "Scalability, reliability and security are important factors we consider when evaluating these underlying technologies."

A Google sign on the campus in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Neither Epic Systems nor Google responded to FOX Business' request for comment by the time of publication.

Some people have been skeptical of Google's approach to health care storage since The Wall Street Journal first reported that the tech giant was conducting a secret project with the health care service Ascension called "Project Nightingale" to collect health data on millions of Americans without explicit consent or knowledge from patients or doctors.

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The project is part of Google's efforts to create software that would use artificial intelligence to analyze patient data and make record-keeping easier for health care professionals.

Tariq Shaukat, Google Cloud president of industry and solutions, said in a Nov. 11 statement the tech giant is "proud" of its partnership with Ascension "to support them with technology that helps them to deliver better care to patients across the United States."

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a news conference on Google's collaboration with small scale local businesses in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Tsering
Topgyal, File)

"Our work with Ascension is … a business arrangement to help a provider with the latest technology, similar to the work we do with dozens of other healthcare providers," Shaukat said. "These organizations, like Ascension, use Google to securely manage their patient data, under strict privacy and security standards."

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Since the project has become known to the public, some health care systems have opted against partnering with Google.

Cerner Corps, which has one of the largest collections of health data in the U.S., interviewed a number of companies last year when it was deciding on a storage provider, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. Google pitched Cerner with about $250 million in discounts and incentives, but Cerner eventually decided on Amazon instead in the wake of skepticism surrounding Google Cloud and its health care storage efforts.

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