PwC—short for PricewaterhouseCoopers—is a large multinational professional services network, and the company announced in October of last year that it would begin working with Google to bring “a variety of new and innovative technologies to companies around the world.” Reading that sounds unspecific and, frankly, because Google is always working on new technology, these kinds of announcements don’t really catch the eye of the public.

Today, though, PwC has announced a specific venture that Google is joining, and this one intends to reimagine the military health system in the United States…

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More than 9.7 million people are beneficiaries of the military health system, and as we’ve found out over the last couple of years with new software across a variety of platforms being aimed at the healthcare system in general, there’s definitely a lot of room for innovation to make treating these service members and their families much more efficient.

The proposal headed up by PwC, specifically called the Defense Operational Readiness Health System (yes, it’s a mouthful), wants to create a single source of medical records for all of these patients.

PwC and Google are working with a few EHR (electronic health record) vendors—DSS, Inc., Medsphere Systems Corporation, and MedicaSoft—to make this happen, and the resulting EHR solution they hope will be “distinctive, reliable and secure” as well as open source.

Google specifically will be a very valuable partner in this due to its almost unparalleled experience with secure open source technologies, and the system they’re going to help build will set itself apart by ditching the proprietary nature and high cost of other EHR solutions on the market.

This news comes a week after we sat down with the founder of kiddoEMR, a startup that has already released an alternative EHR solution that wants to offer many of the same advantages as this proposed project from PwC. It was just two days ago as well that Augmedix, another startup that’s also innovating in this space, received a $16 million round of Series A funding.

While this press release tells us Google is interested in influencing this space themselves, the Mountain View corporation has lately been inspiring healthcare innovation indirectly as well.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2015 — PwC US today announced Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG, GOOGL) is a part of the PwC team in the bid for the Department of Defense (DoD) Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) Electronic Health Record (EHR) contract. The DHMSM program will replace and modernize the Military Health System (MHS), which currently supports more than 9.7 million beneficiaries, including active duty, retirees and their dependents. The PwC proposal, called the Defense Operational Readiness Health System (DORHS), will help modernize the military health system by enabling doctors and healthcare professionals inside and outside of government to more efficiently treat service members and their families through the creation of a single source for their medical records.

PwC and Google recently announced a joint business relationship where the two organizations will team together to help companies accelerate their journey to and build trust in the cloud. The combined advantage of PwC and Google teaming together on the DORHS proposal – along with commercial EHR vendors DSS, Inc. and Medsphere Systems Corporation, MedicaSoft, and systems integrator General Dynamics Information Technology — offers the DoD a distinctive, reliable and secure open source EHR solution with innovative, user-friendly operations. In addition, DORHS’ flexibility will help prevent the federal government from being locked into a single technology, avoiding “vendor lock” and “innovation lag” which can occur with proprietary EHR and technology companies.

“Google is known for its expertise in innovative, secure and open technologies, and the power of Internet scale. Their capabilities can complement our proposed open-architecture solution and bring added value, agility and flexibility to the new Military Health System,” said Scott McIntyre, PwC’s Global and U.S. Public Sector Leader. “Google can assist us in delivering a cost-effective and efficient solution to serve the healthcare needs of our military.”

PwC’s technologically advanced, cost-effective DORHS solution allows ongoing innovation, enabling agility and change to keep it at the forefront of emerging digital technologies. The DORHS solution addresses the complexities of successfully integrating an EHR solution to deliver care to a global patient population in multiple healthcare settings within a disparate healthcare provider community comprised of both military and civilian providers.

“Our solution is engineered to provide flexibility, cost effectiveness and a platform that will stand the test of time, and does not rely on unproven technologies or proprietary computing platforms,” said PwC’s Health IT Leader, Dan Garrett. “We believe that our easy to use solution will reduce the time it takes to adopt and train on a new system, and it will help eliminate technical complexities that usually are the cause of unnecessary ‘budget creep’ and schedule slippages. Through teaming with our business and technology vendors, such as Google, we will offer the DoD a highly reliable, scalable, interoperable solution that can be implemented on schedule and will enable the innovation needed for the future without being locked into a specific vendor.”

To learn more about PwC, PwC’s Public Sector Practice, and the DORHS solution for DHMSM, visit www.pwc.com/defensehealth.

PwC’s Public Sector Practice is the proud recipient of a 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

About PwC US PwC US and its subsidiaries help organizations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a member of the PwC network of firms, which has firms in 157 countries with more than 195,000 people. We’re committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com/US.

© 2015 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC US and PwC refer to the US member firm and its subsidiaries. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

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