Google Project Nightingale Secretly Gathered Health Data From Millions Of Patients: Report

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Google has reportedly gathered millions of patient records in 21 states under Project Nightingale. A Wall Street Journal report shows that the data was collected without the patient or doctor's consent. The health records include lab tests, hospitalization records, doctor diagnosis, complete patient's health record, and more.

Google Project Nightingale Secretly Gathered Health Data

 

Google Collects Health Records For Ascension

The report also points out that about dozens of Google employees had access to sensitive information of patients. It also states that some of the employees might have even downloaded the information. However, Google states that it's a standard industry practice for healthcare providers to share such sensitive health records while developing technology infrastructure.

Google has been collecting patient records in association with Ascension, a Catholic healthcare system. Ascension, situated in St. Louis, operates in 21 states in the District of Columbia. The Wall Street Journal report alleges that Google is gathering data from Ascension's system to develop software for individual patient care, embedded with AI and machine learning.

Google Collects Health Records: Here's Why

As part of Google's Project Nightingale, Ascension uploaded patient data on Google Cloud servers. Google says that Project Nightingale uses private medical data to build tools for such healthcare providers. Google updated in a blog post that the company has been working with Ascension to shift its infrastructure to the cloud with G Suite integration.

The Google blog post says that it has been strictly adhering to the HIPAA privacy rules, where the data is strictly safeguarded from other third-parties beyond Ascension's cloud data system. "Some of the solutions we are working on with Ascension are not yet in active clinical deployment, but rather are in early testing. This is one of the reasons we used a code name for the work-in this case, Nightingale," Google said.

 

Google isn't the only tech giant venturing into the healthcare service. Apple, Amazon, and other companies are offering healthcare services or roping in healthcare centers to provide technological support. As part of Google's healthcare push, the company's AI lab DeepMind is working on creating AI assistants for doctors and nurses.

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