Health trust rapped on illegal use of patient data in Google AI deal

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When Londonís Royal Free NHS Trust signed on the dotted line with Google DeepMind to build an innovative kidney-monitoring app in 2016, itís safe to assume they didnít see themselves being handed a public ticking off by the UK Information Commissioner (ICO) less than a year later.

Streams sounded impressive. It could deliver alerts to doctors on the condition of patients, even spot people needing treatment on the basis of anomalous results that would normally take days to pick up through established  processes.

Crucially, because it looked at lots of background patient data, it could weave its big data magic to spot the sort of patterns that would aid more rapid clinical decision making.

Despite this well-intentioned ambition, we now surmise from the ICOís formal rebuke that the project quickly became enveloped by a haze in which patient privacy was put at risk to serve the logic of DeepMindís development ethos.

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