Opening Insights: How Much is Too Much
Surveillance technologies now available - including the monitoring of virtually all digital information - have advanced to the point where much of the essential apparatus of a police state is already in place.
Your medical records used to be something of considerable value that you closely guarded and granted access only to the trusted physician's office where you chose to receive care. Not only is it sensitive information, it is personally identifiable information (PII) that if accessed by those who would seek to do harm or take advantage of the owner, they would have the ability.
At the moment, Google employees already have access to tens of millions of patient's records. In a partnership with one of Americas largest healthcare providers, they will be crafting software to better serve their stakeholders. Google has our best interests at heart, right?
Informational Insights: For the Sake of Convenience
The following article was published by The Wall Street Journal, a Dow Jones product and unit of News Corporation. It was written by Rob Copeland, Google reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
Google has been working with one of the largest healthcare systems in the U.S. to collect and analyze the personal health information of millions of citizens across 21 states, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Tech giant reportedly teamed up with St. Louis-based Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the country, last year, and the data sharing has accelerated since summer.
Code-named Nightingale, the project saw both companies collect personal data from patients, which included lab results, doctor diagnoses, and hospitalization records, as well as patient names and dates of birth.
Google said it plans to use the data to create new software that will improve patient care and suggest changes to their care.
Patients and doctors were not notified that their data is being shared, and did not give their consent, according to the report.
One individual who was familiar with the project told the Journal that at least 150 Google employees already have access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients.
Just hours after the secret project was revealed, the two companies announced the collaboration in a press release, in which they said the joint project would see Ascension’s data moved onto Google’s Cloud platform.
The statement said the joint project aims to “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.”
Eduardo Conrado, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Innovations at Ascension, said: “As the healthcare environment continues to rapidly evolve, we must transform to better meet the needs and expectations of those we serve as well as our own caregivers and healthcare providers.
“Doing that will require the programmatic integration of new care models delivered through the digital platforms, applications, and services that are part of the everyday experience of those we serve.”
The partnership will also explore artificial intelligence and machine learning applications to help improve clinical quality, and effectiveness, patient safety and increase consumer and provider satisfaction, according to the statement.
Tariq Shaukat, President of Google Cloud, added: “Ascension is a leader at increasing patient access to care across all regions and backgrounds, particularly those in disadvantaged communities. We’re proud to partner with them on their digital transformation.
“By working in partnership with leading healthcare systems like Ascension, we hope to transform the delivery of healthcare through the power of the cloud, data analytics, machine learning, and modern productivity tools—ultimately improving outcomes, reducing costs, and saving lives.”
Ascension also said that its work with Google had been compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996 (HIPAA) and “underpinned by a robust data security and protection effort and adherence to Ascension’s strict requirements for data handling.”
This article republished by THE EPOCH TIMES: Google’s ‘Project Nightingale’ Secretly Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans
This article originally appeared in the WALL STREET JOURNAL: Google’s ‘Project Nightingale’ Secretly Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans
Possibilities of Consideration: Medically Disqualified
Perhaps the safety of a locked cabinet for paper files has never been the epitome of secure restriction, but at least it prevented access of your records to those outside the physical reach of the locked cabinet. What happens when your digital profile is accessible to anyone anywhere who has acquired the proper online rights? Who gets to say what is authorized?
Imagine being disqualified as a job applicant based on the employer searching your medical records and determining that you were too much of a risk for absenteeism, or the risks for certain health conditions were too high.
Imagine trying to order something online only to receive a notification that you are not eligible to buy based on known medical history/conditions.
Imagine being denied access to air travel or entrance into a theme park or movie theater because the managing organization doesn't want the liability risk.
Imagine being ordered to remain in your home for your own good.
Add Your Insight
Take a moment and examine…
- As you reviewed the material above, what stood out to you?
- What is the potential impact, economically and/or socially?
- What action is needed to stop or support this idea?
- You may want to consider whether you:
- want to be aware of,
- should become supportive of,
- would want to be active in this topic?
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.
LEONARDO DA VINCI