Over the last three years, DeepMind has built a team to tackle some of healthcare’s most complex problems—developing AI research and mobile tools that are already having a positive impact on patients and care teams. Today, with our healthcare partners, the team is excited to officially join the Google Health family. Under the leadership of Dr. David Feinberg, and alongside other teams at Google, we’ll now be able to tap into global expertise in areas like app development, data security, cloud storage and user-centered design to build products that support care teams and improve patient outcomes.
During my time working in the UK National Health Service (NHS) as a surgeon and researcher, I saw first-hand how technology could help, or hinder, the important work of nurses and doctors. It’s remarkable that many frontline clinicians, even in the world’s most advanced hospitals, are still reliant on clunky desktop systems and pagers that make delivering fast and safe patient care challenging. Thousands of people die in hospitals every year from avoidable conditions like sepsis and acute kidney injury and we believe that better tools could save lives. That’s why I joined DeepMind, and why I will continue this work with Google Health.
We’ve already seen how our mobile medical assistant for clinicians is helping patients and the clinicians looking after them, and we are looking forward to continuing our partnerships with The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.
On the research side, we’ve seen major advances with Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in detecting eye disease from scans as accurately as experts; with University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on planning cancer radiotherapy treatment; and with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to predict patient deterioration up to 48 hours earlier than currently possible. We see enormous potential in continuing, and scaling, our work with all three partners in the coming years as part of Google Health.
It’s clear that a transition like this takes time. Health data is sensitive, and we gave proper time and care to make sure that we had the full consent and cooperation of our partners. This included giving them the time to ask questions and fully understand our plans and to choose whether to continue our partnerships. As has always been the case, our partners are in full control of all patient data and we will only use patient data to help improve care, under their oversight and instructions.
I know DeepMind is proud of our healthcare work to date. With the expertise and reach of Google behind us, we’ll now be able to develop tools and technology capable of helping millions of patients around the world.