As part of an ongoing reorganization of its health effort, Google announced that it absorbs DeepMind Health, part of its…
As part of an ongoing reorganization of its health effort, Google announced that it absorbs DeepMind Health, part of its London-based AI lab DeepMind.
In a blog post, DeepMind founder said it was a “big milestone” for the company that would help turn its Streams app – as it was developed to help Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) – to “AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors “that combines” the best algorithms with intuitive design. “Currently, the Streams app in the UK is piloted as a way to help healthcare practitioners handle patients.
DeepMind says that its Streams team will remain in London and it is committed to conduct ongoing work with NHS. These include a number of ambitious research projects, for example, using AI to detect eye diseases in routine scans.
The news is potentially controversial with regard to disturbances in the UK caused by one of DeepMinds early agreements with the NHS. The country’s data watch dogs ruled in 201
7 that a partnership DeepMind hit the NHS was illegal, as individuals had not received accurate information about how their medical data would be used.
Another consistent concern for privacy advocates in Britain has been the prospect of Google getting the hands on this kind of information. It is not clear what the absorption of Streams team to Google means in this context, but we have reached DeepMind to clarify. According to a report by CNBC the independent review card, DeepMind, set up to monitor its healthcare is likely to be turned off as a result of the move.
More generally, the news signals Google’s ambitions in health care and its desire to make the most of its acquisition of London AI lab. There have been long-lasting tensions between DeepMind and Google, where the latter wants to commercialize the previous work. Compared with Google, DeepMind has positioned itself as a brainhouse for long-term research, which attracts some of the world’s best AI talents in the process.
DeepMind Health has produced work with more immediate and practical applications than other parts of the company, which probably made it a tempting target for the new CEO of Google Health, David Feinberg, who was named last week. Feinberg’s new mandate is to restructure all Google’s various games in health, from hardware to algorithms. Apparently, it also includes absorbing other parts of the alphabet if needed.