back to article Google swallows up DeepMind Health and abolishes 'independent board'

Google has placed itself at the heart of Britain’s National Health Service by absorbing its wholly owned DeepMind Health unit into the Chocolate Factory - data and all. It has also scrapped the unit’s “independent review panel”. Google acquired DeepMind, an attention-grabbing UK software company founded by former games …

  1. iron Silver badge

    Britain’s National Health Service?

    > Google has placed itself at the heart of Britain’s National Health Service

    Has it really? All I can find are articles about some London trusts working with DeepMind which barely qualifies as NHS England & Wales and definitely does not include Scotland. There is no such thing as Britain's NHS - NHS Scotland is separate to England & Wales and always has been. As usual El Reg ignores that and writes an article that at best tells me nothing and at worst misleads me into thinking NHS England policies may apply to me.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For those that accidentally sat on a cucumber while hoovering naked and required hospital treatment suddenly find their browsing and inbox inundated with adverts for butt plugs then you know who to blame.

  3. Jemma Silver badge

    It might not be Google..

    Maybe Alexa has a new "howl recognition" feature..

    Can just imagine clippy...

    "it looks like you're trying BDSM impalement play. Would you like some help with that?"

    Incidentally they're trying to get Amazon Alexa data from a murder scene - paired phones, conversations in range of the speakers etc. So that's not creepy at all - even without activating my Inner Vimes my cynicometer is going off register, what's the betting the sound of women being murdered on Alexa will turn up on the Web...

  4. Def Silver badge

    Re: It might not be Google..

    Makes you wonder why Alexa and Google Home are the shape they are. (I haven't seen them in person, so I don't know how wide they are.)

    But I can imagine them starting to fuck you in the arse as soon as you get them home and switch them on.

  5. JohnFen Silver badge

    Likewise, you know who to blame if you are treated for cancer, severe depression, etc., and find yourself no longer employable.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    All they have to do is hang on to the data until the UK can sign a unilateral trade agreement with the USA. An agreement that will no doubt include the wholesale transfer of our data to giant US corporations, the privitaisation of the NHS health style and the only stuff coming back will be chlorinated chickens and injected beef.

    My partner died because an nhs cunt registrar couldn't be bothered to read or follow published guidelines from NICE and thought the (correct) opinion of a GPs was worthless. The fact that Google thinks it'll produce better info doesn't matter a shit when registrars still have a god complex and belive they are infallible.

    So Google steals the data, spams us all medically to death, sells our details to insurers then any info it does produce will probably get ignored by GPs. Fuckin great eh.

  7. Long John Silver

    Put and end to expansion by acquisition

    The global economy is infested by ever expanding corporate conglomerates. Conglomerates, per se, are inimical to market-capitalism as it was once understood. Conglomeration diminishes competition and leads toward monopoly and/or monopsony powers.

    Expansion by managed growth of market share is fine so long as it's not permitted to go too far. Similarly, branching out into another market closely related to that from which a business started (i.e. from a core of expertise, motivation, and experience) need not be detrimental to an overall competitive market. However, expansion by acquisition of solvent companies which in other circumstances could be competitors is wholly against the spirit of market-capitalism.

    Apart from the Google instance mentioned here another recent example was Coca Cola acquiring the successful UK Costa Coffee chain. Setting aside aesthetic considerations and worries over whether the Coca Cola Corporation is fit to vend any sort of beverage, that take-over leaves a nasty taste.

    Google's starting point was Internet advertising and required developing considerable expertise in computer technology. Google's main business modality remains thus and has been enhanced, from Google's point of view, by widespread take-up of Google's pseudo-open-source Linux variant by phone manufacturers. Google's implementation of Android is a privacy-sapping marketing tool sitting on devices that happen also to enable phone calls.

    Google, seemingly, wants to expand into the health information business. That may or may not make sense from Google's point of view. Yet, societal interest is firmly that Google must do so by legitimate competitive expansion rather than acquisition.

    Conglomeration and/or global near-monopoly are evils in their own right. They are evident in the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. Moreover, distributors of broader cultural output in news, film, TV shows, and music, increasingly are conglomerates of erstwhile production and distribution companies. In the field of physical products, Bayer, now proud owner of the can of legal worms once known as Monsanto, is a conglomerate of monstrous, and dangerously so, proportions.

    The root motivator for all this is Ayn Rand compatible neo-liberalism. Consequent globalisation has enabled multinational corporate interests to, in effect, dictate their own terms to nation states. Bribes and promises via lobbyists to members of legislatures and governments aid this continuing process. Little do the corrupted, those accepting such boons, realise their true position as inconsequential nobodies in the grand schemes of others; neither they nor their families shall have a special place within neo-feudalism.

    Google's position in the UK NHS may have been promoted, at least welcomed, by dark interests in, or associated with, government, these intent on furthering neo-liberal intentions of privatisation now made more likely by Brexit.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So when will the prosecutions begin?

    About time we started seeing people being held to account, starting with the people who actually decided to hand-over NHS data to google.

  9. Crisp Silver badge

    Even though I opted out

    What are the odds that my entire medical history is sitting on one of Googles servers somewhere?

  10. Flywheel Silver badge

    Re: Even though I opted out

    Same here - it's probably got a flag in a column labelled "UNCOOPERATIVE" with a value "Y". I'm sure that won't be open to abuse.

  11. southen bastard

    there is a good side

    at least all the advertising for life insurance ans medical insurance has stopped, since they got w my medical records i'm guessing


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