Jan 13, 2020

Google can view millions of patient health records in most states

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Through its partnerships with health care providers, Google can view tens of millions of patient records in at least three-quarters of states, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Some of these partnerships allow Google to access identifiable information about patients without their or their doctors' knowledge, raising fears about how this data may be used.

Details: Google is developing a new search tool — designed to be used by doctors, nurses and potentially patients — that stores and analyzes patient information on its servers.

  • The company and some health systems say argue that data-sharing can improve patient outcomes.
  • Google says its health endeavors aren't connected with its advertising business.

Intermountain Healthcare has a deal that gives Google access to patients' records, similar to Google's deal with Ascension.

  • Google announced a partnership with the Mayo Clinic in September, and although Mayo officials said then that patient data would remain private and unidentifiable, the contract permits Mayo to share personally identifiable health data in the future.

Go deeper: Google develops AI system that outperforms radiologists in detecting breast cancer

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HHS' pending data-sharing rules spark fight over patient records

Alex Azar, secretary of HHS. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

There's an intense lobbying fight over Health and Human Services' pending health care data-sharing rules, Politico reports.

Between the lines: The fight involves hospitals, digital health firms and patient advocates.

Go deeperArrowJan 16, 2020

Google gathers D.C. policy pros for closed-door conference

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images

Google brought a slew of D.C. policy experts to its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters this week for a summit, according to people familiar with the event, as the tech company seeks to deflect scrutiny from Washington.

Why it matters: Google is in the midst of reconfiguring its approach to a newly aggressive Washington, and it cut its lobbying budget last year. With this event, the company aims to make sure D.C. influencers from across the ideological spectrum understand its products better.

At the Supreme Court, a league of software defenders for Google

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A wide array of tech companies are siding with Google in its copyright battle against Oracle — a rival to some of the companies — in filings with the Supreme Court Monday.

The big picture: The case revolves around key questions of software copyright and fair use that could have major consequences for the industry.

Go deeperArrowJan 14, 2020