Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Google Has Access to Personal Health Information of Millions of US Patients

Recently Google partnered with Ascension - one of the largest health systems in America - but did so quietly. This partnership allows Google access to all of Ascension's patients' data. Ascension operates 150 hospital 21 states.

The effort was code named "Project Nightingale," and has allowed some Google employees access to data including names, birth dates, addresses, family members, allergies, immunizations, radiology scans, hospitalization records, lab tests, medications, medical conditions, and even some billing records. 

The current agreement does not appear to be a violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Google has been looking to expand their health information efforts, including plans to acquire Fitbit. However, Google has responded to the news of the partnership to say the data will not be used other than to assist Ascension medical providers.

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