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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Google is quietly infiltrating medicine, but what rules will it play by?

Michael Millenson
Originally posted January 3, 2019

Here is an excerpt:

Other tech companies are also making forays into fields previously reserved for physicians as they compete for a slice of the $3.5 trillion health care pie. Renowned surgeon and author Dr. Atul Gawande was hired to head the still-nascent health care joint venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan. Apple recently hired more than 50 physicians to tend its growing health care portfolio. Those efforts include Apple Watch apps to detect irregular heart rhythms and falls, a medical record repository on your iPhone, a genetic risk score for heart disease, and a partnership with medical equipment manufacturer Zimmer Biomet aimed at improving knee and hip surgery.

Google is hiring physicians, too. Its high-profile hires include the former chief executives of the Geisinger Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic. The company’s ambitious health care expansion plans reportedly encompass everything from the management of Parkinson’s disease to selling hardware to providers and insurers.

To be clear, I’ve connected the dots among separate Google companies in a way Google might dispute. However, there are some concerns about how and whether any separation of information will be maintained. In November, Bloomberg reported that plans in the United Kingdom to combine an Alphabet subsidiary using artificial intelligence on medical records with the Google search engine were “tripping alarm bells about privacy.”

The info is here.