Google takes over DeepMind Health

Henrietta Strickland
November 16, 2018

The app, which was created to help doctors and nurses monitor patients for AKI, a severe form of kidney injury, has since grown to offer a full digital dashboard for patient records.

Google has been accused of breaking promises to patients, after the company announced it would be moving a healthcare-focused subsidiary, DeepMind Health, into the main arm of the organisation. It was founded in 2011 by neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, well-known as a computer game prodigy. And the results have been extremely encouraging too, to say the least.

In July an independent ethics board said it needed to do more to establish its independence from its parent company.

The ICO said it expects the measures set out in its audits to remain in place.

The blog states that DeepMind will continue "to work on fundamental health research with partners in academia, the NHS and beyond". The Streams team is going to reamin in London under the leadership of former NHS surgeon and researcher Dr. Dominic King.

"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. "The move to Google does not affect this". "This isn't transparency, it's trust demolition".

United Kingdom medical privacy group MedConfidential referred to a 2016 BBC article in which DeepMind was said to be ensuring that Streams data "isn't shared with Google". In July 2016, following criticism that the company's data-sharing agreement with the NHS was overly broad, co-founder Mustafa Suleyman wrote: "We've been clear from the outset that at no stage will patient data ever be linked or associated with Google accounts, products or services".

'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.

Google is in a legal position to make these moves because, legally speaking, the development of Streams is not based on any NHS intellectual property, such as patient data, but only on DeepMind Health's refinement of the app based on its use within NHS trusts.

Its goal is to solve general intelligence and make machines capable of learning for themselves.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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