LONDON:- A London NHS hospital trust has teamed up with tech giant Google to share patient data so it can save more lives. Doctors at the Royal Free say partnering with the artificial intelligence arm of Google - DeepMind - could free up over half a million hours per year, currently spent on paperwork, towards direct patient care. Medical staff will get ‘breaking news’ style alerts about their patients. Privacy campaigners are concerned about data breaches. Information on more than 1.6 million patients a year will be shared with a subsidiary of Google.

Under a five-year agreement, DeepMind will collaborate with Barnet, Chase Farm and Royal Free Hospitals using a mobile app called Streams, which will initially alert clinicians to patients with signs of acute kidney injury at its earliest stages. All data will be encrypted, and will not be shared with Google, despite its ownership of DeepMind. The app will be rolled out from early next year, and if successful will also be used to detect other life-threatening illnesses like sepsis and organ failure. Whereas doctors and nurses at the Royal Free currently have to leaf through patient notes to build a picture of a patient’s blood results over time, they will now be able to access years of data at their fingertips. When any results are unusual, an alert will sound.