Google and Ascension seek health care ‘transformation,’ stoke privacy concerns

Just days after acquiring Fitbit, Google announced another health-focused partnership. It’s working with St. Louis-based Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S.

In a release, the companies said they are working toward a “healthcare transformation.” They said the project will modernize infrastructure, enhance communication and improve patient outcomes.

But the partnership, dubbed, “Project Nightengale,” has raised concerns about privacy and data security. It started in secret, without knowledge of patients or doctors.

The Department of Health and Human Services launched an investigation Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports. Google and Ascension say the initiative is compliant with HIPAA.

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