Jan 21, 2020 - Technology

Big Tech's enormous access to patients' health data

It's not just Google — Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have also struck deals with hospitals across the country to gain access to patient data, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: It reveals just how expansive the relationship between tech companies and hospitals has become — and lawmakers have taken notice.

Details: There's no evidence of wrongdoing; hospitals can share patient data as long as they follow federal law.

  • The deals have the potential to yield information and products valuable to patients.
  • For example, Microsoft is partnering with Providence, a large hospital system, to create oncology algorithms using doctor's notes in medical records.

The big picture: "Digitizing patients' medical histories, laboratory results and diagnoses has created a booming market in which tech giants are looking to store and crunch data, with potential for groundbreaking discoveries and lucrative products," WSJ writes.

  • Hospitals can also benefit financially from the deals, some of which include intellectual property rights for the hospitals' contributions to new products.

Go deeper: What your hospital knows about you

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