NHS data is worth billions but who should have access to it?

Shared by Radhika Narayanan | 0 0 0 | about 3 months ago

The NHS is a valuable national asset and not just in terms of the lives it saves.Last week the tensions between the health services role as a collective national endeavour and its potential as a source of private sector profit flared again, following a characteristically blunt intervention from the US president. Donald Trumps claim, later retracted, that the NHS would be on the table in US-UK trade talks underlined the organisations enduring appeal to the private sector.Data is one the areas of interest to commercial players. The NHS database holds the medical records of 65 million people and is drawing the attention of private businesses.While other countries datasets are more fragmented, the NHS database has comprehensive patient records that go back decades. This treasure trove is priceless to technology giants such as Googles parent Alphabet as well as smaller healthcare firms, which are vying to develop health mobile phone apps that perform a host of tasks from monitoring vital organs to carrying out an initial diagnosis.

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