Google seduces Ascension US health systems into data-sharing

November 12, 2019 //By Julien Happich
health systems
Eager to lead the next AI-assisted digital health monitoring revolution, Google wants to recoup more health data and what better than promise new data mining tools for US-leading non-profit health systems Ascension?

The Wall Street Journal just reported that Ascension was sharing information with Google in a program called "Project Nightingale". The health system includes over 2,600 hospitals and health care centers in 21 states, it is reportedly providing patient names and dates of birth, as well as lab results, hospitalizations and diagnosis to Google, without prior notification.

In a joint press release, the Ascension and Google stated their goals, optimize the health and wellness of individuals and communities, and deliver a comprehensive portfolio of digital capabilities that enhance the experience of Ascension consumers, patients and clinical providers across the continuum of care.

On its mission to provide compassionate, personalized care to all, Ascension sees it fit to transition its infrastructure to Google’s Cloud Platform and its G Suite productivity and collaboration tools while exploring artificial intelligence/machine learning applications to support improvements in clinical quality and effectiveness, patient safety, and advocacy. That is at least what the press release says.

All work related to Ascension’s engagement with Google is HIPAA compliant and underpinned by a robust data security and protection effort and adherence to Ascension’s strict requirements for data handling, the companies add. Google could use the information to design new AI-reliant software to predict or identify medical conditions.

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