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DeepMind Extends Usage of Streams App to Somerset Hospital

Alphabet-owned DeepMind has struck a deal with  Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, which will now start using the AI lab’s healthcare app Streams in Musgrove Park Hospital.

The contract follows similar, controversial partnerships with the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, which have adopted Streams to spot signs of kidney failure.

Privacy advocates have complained in the past about  DeepMind having access to about 1.6 million patients’ information without asking their consent, and raised doubts on the wisdom of sharing NHS data with technology behemoth Alphabet (although DeepMind has repeatedly denied giving Alphabet access to Streams data).

The Information Commissioner’s Office has even opened an investigation on the matter.

As in the previous cases, the deal with Musgrove Park will not allow individual patients to opt out of the data-sharing scheme.

Still, DeepMind has pledged to engage with patients in open forums, while Musgrove Park Hospital has promised to hold workshops with staff and the general public to show how Streams works and what its impact could be.

Dr Luke Gompels, consultant in medicine at Musgrove Park Hospital, told the BBC: “This is all about early detection of seriously unwell patients so that we can immediately escalate care, ensure a very rapid response, and make sure they are treated quickly by the right specialist doctor. In this way we can make more of a difference, more quickly.”

Image via Streams

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