In December 2019, the UK government gave Amazon, the complete access to non-patient data for free, and in turn, the company's Alexa voice assistant provided health information via voice search
FREMONT, CA: We generate data about ourselves frequently, and acquiring and interpreting this data turned a big, profitable business nowadays. In majority of the cases, the data may be irrelevant or inconsequential; however, in some cases, it may be the most private and confidential data such as about our health. Nevertheless, some businesses will want it no matter which type of data it falls under.
The National Health Service (NHS), one of the UK's oldest and most established public healthcare systems in the world, links data to a specific NHS number. This means that its data provides a broader account of patients' health, considering that the system is increasingly digitizing longer old records chronologically.
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In December 2019, the UK government gave full access to non-patient data for free to Amazon, and in turn, the latter's Alexa voice assistant provided health information via voice search. This raised some concerns about the value of such data. Other giant tech firms like Google closed a deal with Ascension, a company that runs 2,600 hospitals in the US to acquire medical data. Although the data is not entirely beneficial to big American tech firms, the NHS and other health bodies capitalize on it.
A possible area of exploration lies in introducing such data sets to AI. In a recent blog by the CEO of NHSX, the NHS's digital transformation arm, Matthew Gould, wrote that Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds enormous potential for NHS. If used correctly, it could reduce the burden on the system by taking on the tasks that can be converted into an algorithm, with radiography and pathology proving to be areas of great pressure. AI could also help improve patient outcomes and increase productivity across the system, freeing up clinicians' time so that they can focus on the parts of the job where they add the most value.
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