Project Nightingale: Google Gathering Healthcare Data of Millions of Americans
IndraStra Global

Project Nightingale: Google Gathering Healthcare Data of Millions of Americans

By IndraStra Global News Team

Project Nightingale: Google Gathering Healthcare Data of Millions of Americans

Image Attribute: Pixabay.com

On November 12, 2019, The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) has initiated an investigation into a cloud computing deal between Google and Ascension Health (one of the country's largest nonprofit health systems) which would give Google access to detailed health information of millions of patients, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Ascension Health is the largest non-profit Catholic health system in the in the U.S. with 2600+ facilities in 23 states and the District of Columbia

According to the statement released by Google"All of Google’s work with Ascension adheres to industry-wide regulations [including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)] regarding patient data and comes with strict guidelines on data privacy, security, and usage."

Dubbed as "Project Nightingale", both the companies have signed Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with each other —  which governs access to Protected Health Information (PHI) to help providers support patient care. Under this arrangement, Google claims Ascension’s data cannot be used for any other purpose than for providing these services we’re offering under the agreement, and patient data cannot and will not be combined with any Google consumer data.

The federal inquiry also comes as Google makes a bigger push into health care. Earlier this month, the company said it's buying Fitbit, a fitness tracker company, for US$ 2.1 billion, signaling a deeper investment in health services.