Google’s DeepMind Has a Plan for Protecting Private Health

Google’s DeepMind Has a Plan for Protecting Private Health
As part of its projects with Britain’s National Health Service, Google’s artificial intelligence unit DeepMind announced last week it’s developing a new way to protect confidential health data—from itself. Its problem: How to assure hospitals, and the public at large, that patient confidentiality isn’t compromised as it processes the sensitive medical health records entrusted to it.

DeepMind’s proposed solution is to create an indelible data log that can’t be tampered with. It would show when a piece of data was used, and for what purpose. Importantly, DeepMind itself wouldn’t be able to modify logs to use the data nefariously. The solution bears resemblance to the “distributed ledger technologies” or “private blockchains” that the financial world has been trying to create in recent years. While loathe to call it “blockchain”—DeepMind prefers the term “verifiable append-only ledger” to describe its health data system—it is interested in one property that the technology can confer upon its users: trust.

While the banks want blockchains to slash back-office costs while staying compliant, DeepMind needs blockchains to shore up public trust. Last year, DeepMind’s work with the UK’s health service was dragged into the public by a New Scientist investigation. The publication found that 1.6 million patient names, addresses, and other information from three London hospitals had been shared with Google’s artificial intelligence subsidiary. It triggered an investigation by the UK’s privacy regulator that is ongoing. DeepMind and the hospitals say they followed the rules.

Huge data sets are what make artificial intelligence work. For DeepMind, access to a trove of national heath data could give it a significant advantage in the race to develop AI techniques for healthcare (although it says the Streams app that it’s devising with the three London hospitals doesn’t involve AI). Nonetheless, DeepMind needs to assure the hospitals—and the public—that it’s handling sensitive medical data safely. “We hope that by building tools like this in the open, we’ll improve the level of trust that patients have with respect to this data access,” DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman says.

Read the full article on Nextgov

Latest News

Dog tags, possible remains of WWII soldier found on island

08/18/2017

A New York military aviation researcher got more than she bargained for on a dream trip to a battle-scarred South Pacific island — the chance to help solve the mystery of an American soldier  Read More

Air Force Adds Lockheed to $499M Aerospace Platform R&D Contract

08/18/2017

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has won a spot on a potential eight-year, $499 million contract from the U.S. Air Force. Read More

Spacewalking cosmonauts release 3-D-printed satellite

08/18/2017

Researchers want to see how parts made with a 3-D printer weather the space environment. Read More

Navy awards contract for future Marine base on Guam

08/18/2017

The U.S. Navy awarded a contract Friday for utility construction and site improvements for a future Marine Corps base on Guam. Read More

General Dynamics Subsidiary Awarded $115M for Navy Submarine Design, Devt Studies

08/17/2017

A General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) subsidiary has received a $115.3 million contract modification to perform additional lead yard services, development studies and design support for the U.S. Navy‘s Virginia-class attack submarines.  Read More

571-348-1160

Have questions?
Give us a call!

Call

38° 44' 2.632"N
-77° 11' 55.86"E

7426 Alban Station Boulevard, Suite B218
Springfield, VA 22150

Directions

Contact

Want to start a dialog?
Email us.

Mail