Amazon and NHS, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, have signed a contract together that will provide Amazon with free access to the data on the NHS website as well as “all healthcare information” according to an article from The Times. This data includes “symptoms, causes and definitions” as well as “all related copyrightable content and data and other materials,” excluding patient data.
Amazon can share the data with third parties and use it to make, sell and advertise products and services. However, the NHS won’t get any of the profit stemming from products and services that use their data, causing criticism from Jon Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, as well as Tom Brake, a spokesman for the Liberal Democrats. Brake said,
“It beggars belief that the Conservatives have negotiated the selling off of NHS data for nothing.”
The United Kingdom government has not commented on this contract, while the NHS reiterated that no patient data would be given to Amazon under this contract.
NHS Wants Increased Usage of Technology In Medicine
In the Topol Review, an NHS report by Dr. Eric Topol, a digital medicine researcher, geneticist and cardiologist, he calls for the increased usage of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics in medicine. Currently, the NHS has over 70 health apps for patients and healthcare workers. By 2021, users will be able to upload their data from other lifestyle apps and wearables directly into healthcare records.
A survey from Perkins-Eastman, a global architecture firm, echoed the Topol Report. More than two-thirds of the survey’s respondents reported that telemedicine and other voice-activated medical support such as Alexa or Google Assistant would be “very to extremely impactful”. Although the contract between Amazon and the NHS has been criticized by political figures and health officials, many doctors and patients alike would like to see more technology used in medicine.
What does NHS stand for in the UK?
NHS stands for the National Health Service, a collection of public healthcare providers based in the United Kingdom.
Is the NHS free in the UK?
General practitioner and nurse consultations are free of charge to residents of the United Kingdom.
How do you do online shopping on Amazon?
To shop online at Amazon, go to their website and type in what product you’re looking for into the search bar. From there, you can read descriptions and customer reviews of each product, click on the purchase button and enter in your payment, shipping and billing information.