The Wall Street Journal
Originally published 20 Jan 20
Here is an excerpt:
Recent revelations that Alphabet Inc.’s Google is able to tap personally identifiable medical data about patients, reported by The Wall Street Journal, has raised concerns among lawmakers, patients and doctors about privacy.
The Journal also recently reported that Google has access to more records than first disclosed in a deal with the Mayo Clinic.
Mayo officials say the deal allows the Rochester, Minn., hospital system to share personal information, though it has no current plans to do so.
“It was not our intention to mislead the public,” said Cris Ross, Mayo’s chief information officer.
Dr. David Feinberg, head of Google Health, said Google is one of many companies with hospital agreements that allow the sharing of personally identifiable medical data to test products used in treatment and operations.
Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft are vying for hospitals’ business in the cloud storage market in part by offering algorithms and technology features. To create and launch algorithms, tech companies are striking separate deals for access to medical-record data for research, development and product pilots.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, lets hospitals confidentially send data to business partners related to health insurance, medical devices and other services.
The law requires hospitals to notify patients about health-data uses, but they don’t have to ask for permission.
Data that can identify patients—including name and Social Security number—can’t be shared unless such records are needed for treatment, payment or hospital operations. Deals with tech companies to develop apps and algorithms can fall under these broad umbrellas. Hospitals aren’t required to notify patients of specific deals.
The info is here.