Amazon NHS

The Government has come under fire by Privacy International regarding Amazon’s access to NHS healthcare information and data after the contract between the American retail giant and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently came to light.

In July, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the new partnership, confirming users of Amazon’s popular Alexa technology would be able to ask the voice-assisted technology queries relating to health, with Alexa searching the NHS Choices website to offer relevant information.

According to Hancock, the deal would help people “access reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking GPs and pharmacists.”

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A series of Freedom of Information requests from Privacy International and other organisations, however, has resulted in the contract being released, revealing a more in-depth agreement in relation to data-sharing than had first been disclosed.

No patient data can be accessed by Amazon, however, the contract does give Amazon access to all “healthcare information, including without limitation symptoms, causes, and definitions, and all related copyrightable content, data, information and other materials” held by the DHSC.

The contract confirms that Amazon can use this substantial data to create healthcare products, stating “new products, applications, cloud-based services and/or distributed software”, which the NHS would not benefit from financially.

“While this particular contract may sound harmless at first – after all, it is good news if Amazon uses the NHS as a trusted source for information for medical queries – we should not be naive about the intentions of big companies that are preying over the NHS,” commented Privacy International.

“This particular partnership also raises questions when it comes to competition regulation of dominant players in the digital era. With their business model relying increasingly on the availability of consumers’ data, dominant online platforms can engage in various forms of data exploitation or even impose unfair terms for consumers.”

https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Amazon-NHS.jpg?fit=1000%2C685&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Amazon-NHS.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettGovernment & LegislationNewsroomNHSSector NewsAlexa,Amazon,Data,Government,GPs,Health Secretary,Matt Hancock,NHS,NHS advice,NHS Choices,Privacy InternationalThe Government has come under fire by Privacy International regarding Amazon’s access to NHS healthcare information and data after the contract between the American retail giant and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently came to light. In July, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the new partnership, confirming...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals