HHS probing Google’s ‘Project Nightingale’

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Mega Doctor News

HHS is investigating whether Google followed the federal privacy law HIPAA when it collected millions of patient records through a partnership with nonprofit hospital chain Ascension, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.

Called “Project Nightingale,” the new initiative gave Google the ability to analyze personal health information, including names and birth dates that Ascension compiled, with the goal of delivering more personalized medical treatment. Patients and physicians were not informed of this project, the Journal reports, even though Ascension said some clinicians and nurses were involved.

HHS’ Office of Civil Rights, which is conducting the probe, is seeking “to learn more information about this mass collection of individuals’ medical records,” and whether HIPAA protections were implemented, the office’s director told the Journal. Google said that it was happy to answer questions but believes that HIPAA regulations were followed.

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