Google is gathering health data from millions of people

Google gathering health data of millions of Americans report

Google gathering health data of millions of Americans report

Google is collecting detailed personal health information from millions of Americans, without the consent of patients or their doctors, as part a secret healthcare initiative dubbed Project Nightingale, the Wall Street Journal reports. Per WSJ, Ascension is sharing complete patient health records, including lab results, diagnoses and hospitalization records - as well as patient names and dates of birth - with Google.

Neither patients nor doctors have been notified about Google's activity, according to the Journal.

Ascension, the second-largest health care system in the country, said Monday it is working with Google "to optimize the health and wellness of individuals and communities".

As many as 150 Google employees have already seen some people's data, it is reported.

The practice is legal under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 which allows hospitals to share patients" medical data with business partners on the condition that it is used to "help the entity carry out its healthcare functions'. Its recent acquisition of Fitbit is but one example of this strategy.

The facts included in Venture Nightingale includes lab outcomes, health care provider diagnoses and hospitalization information, between other categories, and amounts to a finish wellbeing history, entire with client names and dates of beginning, the Journal documented.

A Google spokeswoman told the newspaper that the project is fully compliant with federal health law and includes "robust protections" for patient data. Google has bold ambitions to help make breakthroughs in healthcare through AI and machine learning, and it will need real, patient data to do so.