UCLH and DeepMind Health announce next phase in partnership 

18/09/2019 00:00 

The story so far

In 2016, UCLH began a medical partnership with DeepMind Health to explore the potential of using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help plan radiotherapy treatment for patients with head and neck cancer. Read more.

Under the agreement, UCLH provided DeepMind secure access to anonymised CT scans of approximately 500 head and neck cancer patients who consented to their anonymised data being used for research purposes.

In 2018, DeepMind Health published early results from the partnership which suggested they were on their way to developing an AI system which can analyse and segment CT scans of head and neck cancer to a similar standard as expert clinicians, in a fraction of the time. Read more.

Move to Google Health UK

Last November, DeepMind announced that it planned to transfer its team working on health to Google Health UK – a newly formed group within Google committed to using technology to improve the health of people around the world. It was proposed that UCLH’s partnership with DeepMind was to be part of the transition to Google Health UK.

Specialists from various departments across UCLH, including oncology, contracting, ICT and information governance, have been involved in the change in contractual arrangements and today we have legally transferred our agreement with DeepMind to Google Health UK.

The move will not change the scope of our partnership and the research will be largely undertaken by the same team of experts. However, the team will now be able to make use of Google’s scale and experience to deliver potential breakthroughs to patients more rapidly.

We will retain control over the anonymised data and remain responsible for deciding how it is used. The anonymised data is encrypted and only accessible to a limited number of researchers who are working on this project with UCLH’s permission. Access to the data will only be granted for officially approved research purposes and will be automatically audited and logged.

Further information

Visit Google’s blog post published today, and our Q&A.

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