DeepMind's Streams technology team to join Google

Laverne Higgins
November 16, 2018

Google set up a new healthcare unit called Google Health last week, and appointed healthcare executive David Feinberg to lead it.

The above can also be seen as a greater priority being accorded to Google Health that has only recently come into being and can be seen as an amalgamation of all the health-related projects now underway within Alphabet. I've also changed the headline to make it more accurate. Now that its new app Streams is a Google product, people are concerned that Google will start linking patient health data to their respective Google accounts.

Google has indicated that it will now turn its attention to mining health data after folding its DeepMind Health unit into the main company and getting rid of the independent review committee that was part of the unit. But privacy campaigners worry that DeepMind's ultimate parent firm Google, whose core business model relies on data, may try and suck up patient information to benefit its bottom line.

'When we have promising results that could have impact at scale, we'll work closely with the Streams and transnational research teams at Google on how to implement research ideas into clinical settings'.

'Today, it exposed this as a lie.

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"We commit to only using patient data to help improve care, under the instructions of our partners, who will continue to act as our data controllers at all times", DeepMind said at the time.

"Each of our partnerships have strict rules about how data can be used. The move to Google does not affect this". DeepMind said it would never connect Streams with Google.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said it found "a number of shortcomings" in the way the data was handled, including that patients were not adequately informed their data would be used as part of the test.

A year ago a British hospital trust was told it misused patient data when sharing information with DeepMind for work on the smartphone app. This has led to concerns from data privacy experts.

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