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Why do tech giants want access to health data?



Facebook’s old slogan “move fast and break things” remains valid in the digital world and inspires giants. Google, one of the world’s largest companies, has been plagued by a large healthcare system, and finally, by purchasing Fitbit, it has the chance to access the data of millions of patients.

Some silicon valley companies have stepped into the healthcare industry in the way they know best: data collection and analysis. Amazon sells software that can read medical records and offer recommendations to cure treatment. In addition, through Amazon’s intelligent voice assistant Alexa, there are innovation strides for health and wellness initiatives.

IBM’s artificial intelligence program Watson is used in making new drugs, patient appointments, oncology and genome research.  Google is developing artificial intelligence-based applications to help treat diabetes and detect cancer by following amazon in the same way.

Microsoft also uses cloud platform service Azure to control healthcare costs and monitor patient risk situation. Apple has been collecting health data for a long time with the health app and Apple Watch. Apple continues to collaborate with leading healthcare providers and research institutions.

Google, which has questioned its credibility with data breach scandals in previous years, came up with a study called Project Nightingale that collected detailed health record information without permission from millions of US citizens. According to a report by the Wall  Street Journal, patient records were collected in 21 states in the United States, while patients and doctors were not notified.

According to Rob Copeland, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, project nightingale and many personal data such as patients’ lab results, doctor’s diagnostics, hospitalization records, patient name, date of birth are unaware of by 150 Googlers. seized.

The New York Times, a leading US newspaper, approved the Wall Street Journal’s report and said that “dozens of Google routers” could access sensitive patient data and that some Google routings may have downloaded some of this data. he expressed concern.

Google said the agreement with the healthcare provider complies with standards for sharing high-precision health records with Google staff. A Spokesperson for Google said the project complies with the Federal Health Act and the sole purpose of the agreement is to serve the healthcare provider.

According to media posts and social media reports, Google is likely to collect this data for a new artificial intelligence software. Google has also been fiercely competitive with Apple and Amazon in the field of health, and in 2018 it has made purchases in the position of health administrator to monitor many health initiatives. Google, which aims to create an artificial intelligence assistant for nurses and doctors, also announced that they are using DeepMind’s health care unit.

Google signed an agreement with the University of Chicago Medical Center in 2017 to develop machine learning tools that can accurately predict medical events. Google, who is also accused of improper access to hundreds of thousands of health records through this centre, said one of the machine learning goals is “to anticipate the needs of patients.”



Ascension, the second largest health organization in the United States, issued a press release after the publication of the WSJ article, clarifying its partnership with Google and explaining that their goal was to “optimize the health and well-being of individuals and communities, to offer a comprehensive portfolio of digital capabilities.”

Ascension explains that all work on its relationship with Google is HIPAA compliant and sound data security, while Google explains that the name of the health project is “Nightingale” following the scandalous news. article published.

The American Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) allows hospitals to share patient sourcing data with business partners to help them provide health care, which is actually a scandal. it makes you think it’s not.

Companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are projected to share more information because of their efforts to rise in healthcare. Time will tell what kind of system sharing will create.

The big data collected by multinational technology companies; traceability or social profiling allows users to learn about their habits or their social tasks.

Investments in the healthcare industry demonstrate the intense interest of the world’s stars in the health sector. According to Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the medical market in the United States achieved .65 trillion in revenue in 2018.

Spain ranks first, according to bloomberg’s Healthiest Countries Index. Annual health expenditure per capita in Spain is 3,000 euros. In the United States, the figure is 9,500 euros. The numbers are increasing in parallel with the growing need for medical assistance due to the aging population.

The right tactics are when digital giants fill in the gaps in entering new business areas. According to the American Society of Clinical and Climatology, the amount of medical data folded every 3.5 years in 2010 doubles every 73 days in 2020. Therefore, it becomes difficult to manage the volume of information.

Digital giants have been analyzing data from customers who have been using their products for more than a decade. Google is turning search into an opportunity to narrow ad segmentation by improving searches, while Amazon is turning computational capabilities into computational capabilities to optimize the recommendations of its products, and is analyzing big data.

One of the main goals of Google, Amazon and Microsoft is to sell the existing computing capacity as well as the tools optimized for analyzing medical data. That requires access to a lot of patient information. The condition of having good predictive analysis and classification techniques is to have good databases.

To sell these services to hospitals and biomedical research centers through a cloud model, as having databases will include many highly interesting business models that can enable new diagnostic methodologies and drug development targeted.

Another way to use medical data is online advertising. There have been some reports in the past that some of the world’s most popular websites have sold data on online medical consultations such as medical symptoms, diagnoses, drug names, fertility information, to institutions. It is obvious that there will be much more discussion in the coming period. We’re going to be his followers.



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