Sundar Pichai
Eric Risberg/AP

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that the tech giant is setting its sights on the healthcare business and promised to respect patient privacy.

Reuters reports that speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that the healthcare industry offers huge potential over the next ten years, stating that new technology such as AI can improve the outcomes of medical issues. During the speech, Pichai promised that Google would heed privacy concerns when moving into this market.

Pichai’s comments come shortly after lawmakers have begun to raise questions about Google’s access to the health records of millions of Americans. Medical firm Ascension operates 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities across the United States and is currently Google’s biggest cloud computing customer. Pichai commented on the healthcare industry stating:

When we work with hospitals, the data belongs to the hospitals. But look at the potential here. Cancer if often missed and the difference in outcome is profound. In lung cancer, for example, five experts agree this way and five agree the other way. We know we can use artificial intelligence to make it better.

Google has spent many years developing AI programs that can analyze MRI scans and patient medical data in order to identify diseases and make medical predictions to improve outcomes and reducing cost. In November, U.S. lawmakers asked the company to provide them with information about health systems that provide Google with information and whether Ascension clients will be able to opt-out of having their data shared.

Google stated that strong privacy regulations are already in place that provide a framework for the company to operate.