Patients’ Data “Safeguarded” With Alexa-NHS Deal

Patients have been reassured their medical data will remain protected after the NHS struck a deal with Amazon’s Alexa.

Last week, it was revealed that Alexa users will be able to access health advice from the NHS website.

The government revealed that the modern technology would help people to receive NHS-verified information through their voice-search device, which it hopes will alleviate the pressure on medical staff in the UK.

Secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock said: “We want to empower every patient to take better control of their healthcare and technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking GPs and pharmacists.”

Through the partnership, patients will be able to find out symptoms to conditions and ways they can treat everyday illnesses.

However, since the announcement, leading opposition politicians have stated this is “opening the door to the Holy Grail” when it comes to personal data-sharing.

Labour MP Tom Watson suggested this is simply a way for Amazon to gain access to medical data, adding: “This is the beginning of Mission Creep.”

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky agreed that Amazon will have access to sensitive health data, in which case it has to reassure the public that this will remain protected, reported CBR Online.

Its principal security researcher David Emm added that Amazon needs to be transparent about this to give users “the assurance they need that their data is well safeguarded”.

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