From New Scientist:
A data-sharing agreement obtained by New Scientist shows that Google DeepMind’s collaboration with the NHS [National Health Service] goes far beyond what it has publicly announced.
DeepMind announced in February that it was working with the NHS, saying it was building an app called Streams to help hospital staff monitor patients with kidney disease. But the agreement suggests that it has plans for a lot more.
This is the first we’ve heard of DeepMind getting access to historical medical records, says Sam Smith, who runs health data privacy group MedConfidential. ‘This is not just about kidney function. They’re getting the full data.
Google says that since there is no separate dataset for people with kidney conditions, it needs access to all of the data in order to run Streams effectively. In a statement, the Royal Free NHS Trust says that it “provides DeepMind with NHS patient data in accordance with strict information governance rules and for the purpose of direct clinical care only.”
Still, some are likely to be concerned by the amount of information being made available to Google. It includes logs of day-to-day hospital activity, such as records of the location and status of patients – as well as who visits them and when. The hospitals will also share the results of certain pathology and radiology tests.