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Google, Ascension collecting private health data: Wall Street Journal - Business Insider

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Rob Copeland


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Google has teamed up with the massive Ascension hospital system to collect detailed personal health information from millions of Americans without their knowledge, The Wall Street Journal reported.The data-collection initiative is called "Project Nightingale," The Journal's Rob Copeland reported, citing internal documents and people familiar with the matter.According to The Journal's report, neither patients nor doctors were notified, and at least 150 Google employees have access to the data, which includes lab results, diagnoses, and hospital records and provides detailed information on people's health histories.Google is using the patient data to tune artificial-intelligence software that may help improve patient care, according to the report. Tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are all working to expand in the $3.5 trillion US healthcare industry, with offerings ranging from cloud services and AI to hardware and even patient care.Google told The Journal that the project complied with federal laws and that patient privacy was protected.Ascension said in a statement that "all work related to Ascension's engagement with Google is HIPAA compliant and underpinned by a robust data security and protection effort and adherence to Ascension's strict requirements for data handling."Google referred Business Insider to Ascension's release.

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