Google's DeepMind can read 1.6 million NHS patients' records

AI division has a data-sharing deal with the Royal Free NHS Trust

DeepMind, Google's artificial intelligence company, is able to access 1.6 million NHS patient records thanks to a data-sharing agreement with the Royal Free NHS Trust.

The deal, revealed in a document obtained by New Scientist, gives DeepMind access to healthcare data for the 1.6 million patients attending any of the Royal Free NHS Trust hospitals in London Barnet, Chase Farm and the Royal Free.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The deal also includes patient data from the last five years, including that from critical care and accident and emergency departments.

DeepMind's partnership with the NHS started in February, when they worked on an app called Streams, designed to help hospital staff monitor patients with kidney disease. The data-sharing agreement is directly related to this project.

Google argued that, because data on these patients is not separated, it needs access to all patient data in order for the app to work effectively.

The information available to the company includes day-to-day hospital activity logs, results of some pathology and radiology tests, and patient visitors. It is not clear whether patients can opt out of the agreement.

Despite access to this data, however, the deal states that Google cannot use it in any other parts of its business, and it will be stored by a third party only until the agreement expires in September 2017.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

After this date, all records must be restored to the NHS or destroyed.

The document revealed that Google is working on the Patient Rescue platform, designed to provide analytics services to NHS hospital trusts and help staff adhere to the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.

The NHS has previously been criticised over its controversial care.data plan, which aimed to collect patient data from GP medical records to share with the national Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Patients and GPs pushed back against the plans after it was revealed that the data collected would potentially identify individuals, as well as a system that did not make it clear to patients that they could opt-out of sharing their information. Last month, the HSCIC finally agreed to opt-out patients who had chosen not to share their data.

The project was given a 'red' status by the Major Projects Authority following news that 47 million NHS patients' medical data had been accessed by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in 2013 in order to help insurance companies 'refine' their premiums, according to the Telegraph.

Featured Resources

Successful digital transformations are future ready - now

Research findings identify key ingredients to complete your transformation journey

Download now

Cyber security for accountants

3 ways to protect yourself and your clients online

Download now

The future of database administrators in the era of the autonomous database

Autonomous databases are here. So who needs database administrators anymore?

Download now

The IT expert’s guide to AI and content management

Your guide to the biggest opportunities for IT teams when it comes to AI and content management

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/cyber-security/355267/zoom-hires-ex-facebook-cso-to-boost-platform-security
cyber security

Zoom hires ex-Facebook CSO Alex Stamos to boost platform security

8 Apr 2020
Visit/security/vulnerability/355236/hp-support-assistant-flaws-leave-windows-devices-open-to-attack
vulnerability

HP Support Assistant flaws leave Windows devices open to attack

6 Apr 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/355234/safari-bug-let-hackers-access-cameras-on-iphones-and-macs
cyber security

Safari bug let hackers access cameras on iPhones and Macs

6 Apr 2020
Visit/software/video-conferencing/355229/zoom-we-moved-too-fast
video conferencing

Zoom CEO admits company "moved too fast" as privacy issues mount

6 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/355239/microsofts-patent-design-reveals-a-mobile-device-with-a-third-screen
Mobile Phones

Microsoft patents a mobile device with a third screen

6 Apr 2020
Visit/server-storage/servers/355254/a-critical-flaw-in-350000-microsoft-exchange-remains-unpatched
servers

A critical flaw in 350,000 Microsoft Exchange remains unpatched

7 Apr 2020
Visit/software/video-conferencing/355257/taiwan-first-country-to-ban-zoom-amid-security-concerns
video conferencing

Taiwan becomes first country to ban Zoom amid security concerns

8 Apr 2020