A document obtained by New Scientist has indicated that Google’s collaboration with the NHS has more far-yielding consequences than initially suspected.

The document – a data-sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind and the Royal Free NHS Trust –demonstrates what the company is doing and what sensitive data it now has access to.

The agreement enables DeepMind to have access to comprehensive healthcare data on the 1.6 million patients who pass through three London hospitals run by the Royal Free NHS Trust – Barnet, Chase Farm and the Royal Free – each year. This will encompass details concerning people who are HIV-positive, for instance, as well as details of drug overdoses and abortions. The collaboration also includes access to patient data from the last five years.

Sam Smith, who runs health data privacy group MedConfidential, told New Scientist, ‘This is not just about kidney function. They’re getting the full data.

‘What DeepMind is trying to do is build a generic algorithm that can do this for anything – anything you can do a test for.’

To read to full story, click here.