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The arrangement is part of a project to build an app to alert doctors to patients at risk from kidney injuries but concerns have been raised by privacy campaigners over how much data is being made available.
- How much data are we talking about?
Patient data from the last five years is also allegedly accessible to the Google-owned company too.
- What type of data is involved?
- Why is data being made available to DeepMind?
The hospital trust said the app will improve the detection of AKI by immediately reviewing blood test results for signs of deterioration and sending an alert and the results to the most appropriate clinician.
Google said that since “there is no separate dataset for people with kidney conditions” it needed to be given access to all of the data in order to run the app effectively.
- Is the shared patient data safe?
A statement on its website states: “No patient-identifiable data is shared with DeepMind. All information sent to and processed by DeepMind is encrypted and is only decrypted once returned to the clinician’s device.”
- Why are privacy campaigners concerned?
He said: “To ensure patient confidence, properly run projects require transparency on what is being done, and why. That is to protect patients from the confusion about what this data will be used for.
“Even now, we have no idea why Google needed so many sensitive details of every treatment for every patient in the hospital, covering over half a decade.”
- What assurances have Google made?
DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman added: “This data will only ever be used for the purposes of improving healthcare and will never be linked with Google accounts or products.”
- Can patients opt-out?
The Royal Free London said: “With all information sharing agreements with non-NHS organisations, patients can opt out of any data-sharing system that the Royal Free London uses by contacting the trust’s data protection officer.”
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