Google’s Project Nightingale program reportedly secretly collected personal health data for millions of Americans without the knowledge of patients and doctors. The data collected includes laboratory results, doctor’s diagnosis and hospitalization records, as well as patients’ complete health history and other information such as name and date of birth, the report said.
Google launched the project last year in partnership with Ascension, the US healthcare group. The data collection reportedly covers 21 states in the United States. At least 150 Google employees now have access to data for “tens of millions” of patients, it is claimed.
Privacy experts say the Nightingale Program appears to be allowed under the federal HIPAA Act, which allows hospitals to share data with business partners. Provided that the data would facilitate “the performance of the health care functions of the entity concerned”.
Google is reportedly using the data to design a software that uses machine learning to tailor personalized care services for different patients.