DeepMind’s recent foray into providing software as a service to UK hospitals has reached the end of its run.
The Google -owned AI division has just announced it will be stepping back from providing a clinicial alerts and task management healthcare app to focus on research — handing off the team doing the day to day delivery of the Streams to its parent, Google.
It’s been a phenomenal journey to see Streams go from initial idea to live deployment, and to hear how it’s helped change the lives of patients and the nurses and doctors who treat them. https://t.co/rTcFMebuFp
— Mustafa Suleyman (@mustafasuleymn) November 13, 2018
Announcing the move in a blog post entitled ‘Scaling Streams with Google’, DeepMind’s co-founders write: “Our vision is for Streams to now become an AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors everywhere — combining the best algorithms with intuitive design, all backed up by rigorous evidence. The team working within Google, alongside brilliant colleagues from across the organisation, will help make this vision a reality.”
DeepMind’s 2015 plunge into the health apps space always looked like a curious departure for an AI specialist because — despite the above quote — the Streams app does not use any AI.
Rather it uses a National Health Service algorithm. The design of the app was also outsourced to a UK based app studio.
Yet DeepMind began its foray into health with grand ambitions about applying AI to patient data, quietly inking an expansive data-sharing arrangement plus memorandum of understanding with an NHS Trust to get access to millions of patients’ full (and fully identifiable) medical records, as we reported at the time.
It also made a 2015 ethics application with the NHS’ Health Research Authority to apply AI to the patient data. Though it later said it quickly realized that clinicians’ “most urgent problems” were rather more fundamental than a pressing need to rush into experiments with AI. (And DeepMind has always maintained tha..