Google given access to healthcare data of up to 1.6 million patients

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A company owned by Google has been given access to the healthcare data of up to 1.6 million patients from three hospitals run by a major London NHS Trust. DeepMind, the tech giant's London-based company most famous for its innovative use of artificial intelligence, is being provided with the patient information as part of an agreement with the Royal Free NHS trust, which runs the Barnet, Chase Farm and Royal Free hospitals. It includes information about people who are HIV-positive as well as details of drug overdoses, abortions and patient data from the last five years, according to a report by the New Scientist. DeepMind announced in February that it was developing a software in partnership with NHS hospitals to alert staff to patients at risk of deterioration and death through kidney failure. The technology, which is run through a smartphone app, has the support of Lord Darzi, a surgeon and former health minister who is director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London.