Technology: Google's patient data project 'Nightingale' is under investigation - - PressFrom - US
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Technology Google's patient data project 'Nightingale' is under investigation

10:31  13 november  2019
10:31  13 november  2019 Source:   engadget.com

Google is reportedly gathering health data on millions of Americans

  Google is reportedly gathering health data on millions of Americans Google is gathering detailed health record information from millions of Americans -- and it has not informed patients or doctors, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to WSJ, St. Louis-based Ascension, the second-largest health system in the US, is sharing lab results, diagnoses and hospitalization records, as well as health histories complete with patient names and dates of birth, with Google. The effort has been dubbed "ProjectThe effort has been dubbed "Project Nightingale," and a person familiar with the matter told WSJ that at least 150 Google employees have access to data on tens of millions of patients. Google is reportedly using the data to design new, AI-driven software.

Project Nightingale gives Google access to tens of millions of patients ' names, health histories, date of birth, lab results, diagnoses and hospitalization records from Ascension. The health system reportedly didn't tell doctors and patients that it ' s sharing data with the tech giant, which is using the

Google is teaming with one of the country’ s largest health-care systems on an ambitious project The initiative, code-named “ Project Nightingale ,” appears to be the biggest effort yet by a Silicon Valley giant to gain a toehold in the health-care industry through the handling of patients ’ medical data .

Well, that didn't take long. Shortly after The Wall Street Journalblew the lid off Project Nightingale, regulators have announced that they'll start looking into Google's partnership with Ascension, the second-largest health system in the US. According to WSJ, the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services "will seek to learn more information about this mass collection of individuals' medical records to ensure that HIPAA protections were fully implemented."

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The Office for Civil Rights' website says it "enforces federal civil rights laws, conscience and religious freedom laws, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules, and the Patient Safety Act and Rule, which together protect your fundamental rights of nondiscrimination, conscience, religious freedom, and health information privacy."

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Google has been collecting the personal healthcare information of millions of Americans in a previously unknown scheme called Project Nightingale . The technology giant teamed up with Ascension, the second largest healthcare provider in the United States, and has been gathering the data of patients

Google has reportedly teamed up with Ascension, a giant healthcare company, to collect data on patients . That explains Ascension’ s side of the deal, while the goal for Google is likely to collect patient information and serve targeted ads to people based on their health conditions.

Project Nightingale gives Google access to tens of millions of patients' names, health histories, date of birth, lab results, diagnoses and hospitalization records from Ascension. The health system reportedly didn't tell doctors and patients that it's sharing data with the tech giant, which is using the information to design new AI-powered software. WSJ says Google envisions an AI that would have the ability to automatically predict the outcome and risks of certain procedures and medications. The software would be able to read scanned images like MRIs and upload related data to a central network that can be accessed by both Ascension and Google personnel.

Critics are worried about patient privacy, especially since a massive collection of health-related data is involved. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) believes the project should have more government oversight and even called for new legislation to address the issue. A Google spokesperson told WSJ, though, that the company is "happy to cooperate" with the probe and it believes its "work with Ascension adheres to industry-wide regulations (including HIPAA) regarding patient data, and comes with strict guidance on data privacy, security, and usage." That echoes Google's blog post about the partnership, where it assured people that it adheres to HIPAA.

The Wall Street Journal

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