U.K. healthcare data set uploaded to Google servers

The National Health Service's (U.K.) hospital patient database was handed over to management consultants who then uploaded it to Google servers based outside of England, The Guardian reported this week. The patient information had been obtained by PA Consulting, which claimed to have secured the "entire start-to-finish HES dataset across all three areas of collection--inpatient, outpatient and A&E," according to the article. 

As a MedCityNews article points out, the NHS plan to share de-identified patient data with pharmaceutical companies wasn't popular to begin with, and got pushed back six months. Later, NHS admitted to sharing data with insurance companies.

Last November, the U.S. and U.K. announced a plan to consolidate de-identified data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Health Service, making it available on a cloud-based research platform.

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