Indonesia's Ministry of Health teams up with Google Cloud to develop Gen AI innovations 

By Mochamad AzharYogesh Hirdaramani

Google Cloud is supporting the Ministry of Health's (MOH) efforts to improve Indonesia's healthcare sector by providing a Gen AI testing environment. 

The latest collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Google Cloud will help health sector stakeholders to create new innovations. Image: Canva

Indonesia’s Ministry of Health has announced a collaboration with Google Cloud to support the development of healthcare generative AI (Gen AI) innovations.


According to a press release, Google Cloud has established a secure environment through which the Ministry of Health can test the cloud service provider’s generative AI innovations and finetune them to better meet Indonesia’s healthcare needs. This includes access to MedLM, a family of foundation models for the healthcare industry. 


This new collaboration will help healthcare stakeholders to create new innovations in the healthcare sector in Indonesia.  


“To embrace AI adoption, a balance between innovation and ethical considerations is critical to success. By adhering to responsible AI principles and practices, we can ensure that we harness the potential of AI while safeguarding the well-being of society,” said Setiaji, Chief of Digital Transformation Office, Ministry of Health, in the same press release. 


Google Cloud Indonesia Country Director Fanly Tanto also said that the collaboration is an important step towards improving healthcare access, experience, and outcomes for Indonesians.  


“Gen AI has enormous potential to transform healthcare, but choosing the right solution is critical.” 


Fanly said that the collaboration aims to lay the foundation for the growth of safe and secure Gen AI solutions in the Indonesian healthcare sector. This could lead to on-demand access to health information as well as more precise diagnoses or treatment plans while maintaining the privacy and security of patient data.


In 2022, the Ministry signed an agreement with Google Cloud to collaborate on the digital transformation of healthcare, which included improving data management, implementing AI within health services, and developing tech-enabled health services. 

Building a testing environment for Gen AI solutions 


Speaking to GovInsider, Chief Technology Officer, DTO of the Ministry of Health, Reza Rudyanto Pramono shares his hopes that the collaboration will lead to new initiatives in the healthcare sector. 


For the pilot, the Ministry's development team will focus on improving a test environment for Gen AI healthcare solutions.  


“Trials will be conducted with various technology solutions that support us in achieving what is mandated in the health digital transformation blueprint.” 


In the long run, the Ministry aims to integrate AI with health data, health application systems, and health technology, he said. 


The utilisation of Gen AI in the healthcare sector has many challenges, ranging from user concerns over data accuracy and security to the potential for misdiagnosis of diseases by chatbots.  


“So, it is crucial to maintain a balance between innovation and ethics, especially when these innovations are used in the health sector which requires caution,” Reza says. 


Setiaji adds that MOH is committed to making health information accessible to every individual, simplifying systems for healthcare professionals so they can focus on patient care, and strengthening the healthcare ecosystem through innovation.  

AI can help doctors to diagnose diseases 


AI can make it easier for doctors to diagnose patients and improve health outcomes, said Setiaji at recent Sysmex Indonesia CEO Forum conference in Jakarta.  


“For example, AI analysis has been able to detect 124 lung cancer diseases using X-Rays. The combination of AI and X-Ray technology can produce more accurate and faster imaging,” he says.  


When AI is integrated with the patient’s medical history, it can also generate summaries to help doctors understand patients before a consultation. 

“Imagine if doctors already know the patient's medical history when they arrive, not only in the healthcare facility in the patient's city, but in all healthcare facilities in Indonesia. Early disease detection will much better,” he adds. 


AI could also be implemented within the SATUSEHAT platform. For example, patients could utilise the chat feature to accurately detect their illnesses, even before seeing a doctor, he explains. 


Using generative AI, the chatbot assistant would be able to answer users' questions and needs in advance.  


Previously, GovInsider reported on the potential of AI to transform the health sector in Indonesia, including using AI analysis to the health policymaking process, improve health resilience, and monitor outbreaks. 


In Singapore, a regional health cluster is also using gen AI to support doctors in their everyday work as well, reported GovInsider previously. 


This article was originally published in Bahasa Indonesia.