Privacy concerns raised as Google absorbs DeepMind's health tech unit

Pearl Mccarthy
November 16, 2018

And DeepMind's health team is known for creating an app that helps doctors identify potentially life-threatening problems called Streams. In that time, we've also made major advances in healthcare AI research: "detecting eye disease more quickly and accurately than experts; planning cancer radiotherapy treatment in seconds rather than hours; and working to detect patient deterioration from electronic records", said DeepMind in a blog post.

While announcing the new reshuffling, DeepMind also revealed that it has acquired a university spinout company who has developed a clinical task management app called Hark to continue its work in the United Kingdom healthcare sector.

DeepMind, a British artificial intelligence firm, was acquired by Google in 2014.

The DeepMind Health brand and its medical app Streams is now being absorbed by Google Health, based at the firm's headquarters in Mountain View.

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As a result, an independent review panel was set up to oversee DeepMind's relationship with the NHS, but this will now be scrapped, at least in its current form, DeepMind confirmed.

"One of the reasons we joined forces with Google was to give us the platform to more rapidly bring our technologies to the wider world", said DeepMind co-founder and chief executive Demis Hassabis in a statement. The Streams team is going to reamin in London under the leadership of former NHS surgeon and researcher Dr. Dominic King.

"Patient data remains under our partners" strict control, and all decisions about its use will continue to lie with them. It's being used in several NHS hospitals. "The research team at DeepMind will continue to lead the way in applying AI to important fundamental research questions in science and medicine".

'For two and a half years now, at every available opportunity, DeepMind has stated unequivocally that it will never connect the health data it collects under Streams with Google, ' Dr Julia Powles, of New York University School of Law told the Telegraph. The whole Streams app is now a Google product.

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