Google Mines Healthcare Data For Project ‘Nightingale’

August 19, 2018 Mountain View / CA / USA - Google logo on one of the buildings situated in Googleplex, the company's main campus in Silicon Valley

Nobody can deny the fact that the healthcare industry is booming nowadays and has become a multi-billion industry. Due to this, it has been becoming the focus of many giants out there hoping to get an entry. 

Same stands for Google as well, as recently, the healthcare industry has been on their radar. What’s more interesting is that Google has launched a project recently called ‘Nightingale’ according to which they are getting provided with personal details of patients from over 2600 hospitals in around 21 states. Let’s dive in deep to explore the details. 

1. Why is Google Interested? 

As we mentioned earlier, it’s not just now that Google is getting pretty excited about entering the industry. Rather, its been quite a time since they have been making strategies about how to capture the healthcare industry and start getting their share out of it. 

So, Google is claiming to be helping Ascension centralize its database of patients and devise a brand new artificial intelligence system that will predict and help the diagnosis and other medical situations of patients. 

2. Why Does The World Care? 

Apparently, there has been a lot going around related to how Google is mining data of so many patients and how they intend to use and protect it. So, why do people care, and what is the problem with Google acquiring all this data? 

A representative of world privacy forum that the digital records are necessary however it is also as much important to know the intentions of the company with that private data and also if they are taking any measures for protecting it. 

Hence, the major concern here is how the tech giant is exactly planning to use such personal data related to that huge amount of people. 

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3. Is The Data Secure With Google? 

As we cannot know for sure if the claims of Google about their intentions with the data are true or not, we certainly have an idea about how they are housing the data and if its safe in their hands or not. 

Pam Dixon, quoted earlier as well, being a member of World Privacy Forum, said “The Department of Health and Human Services actually tracks all of the medical data breaches and actually some of the largest data breaches in history have been medical data breaches. So it is a significant concern.” So, breaches and leaks of data are too of a concern to ignore. 

However, according to a press release of Google and Ascension, they were quoted to be pretty “robust data security and protection effort”. Moreover, they claimed to be fully compliant with the HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 that protects patient privacy. 

However, Dixon still felt that there is more that needs to be done by saying “But I do think that there is room for having an independent, third party taking a look at what’s happening at that health information that’s at Google,” 

4. Wrap Up 

Among the tech giants out there, there are other contenders as well looking to make their entry into the healthcare industry such as Apple & Amazon. However, Google has taken the lead with this project is the biggest advancement so far.

What are your thoughts on Google entering the healthcare industry?