"A document obtained by New Scientist reveals that the tech giant's collaboration with the UK's National Health Service goes far beyond what has been publicly announced. The document -- a data-sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind and the Royal Free NHS Trust -- gives the clearest picture yet of what the company is doing and what sensitive data it now has access to. The agreement gives DeepMind access to a wide range of healthcare data on the 1.6 million patients who pass through three London hospitals.

It includes logs of day-to-day hospital activity, such as records of the location and status of patients – as well as who visits them and when. The hospitals will also share the results of certain pathology and radiology tests.

As well as receiving this continuous stream of new data, DeepMind has access to the historical data that the Royal Free trust submits to the Secondary User Service (SUS) database – the NHS’s centralised record of all hospital treatments in the UK. This includes data from critical care and accident and emergency departments.

Google says it has no commercial plans for DeepMind’s work with Royal Free and that the current pilots are being done for free. But the data to which Royal Free is giving DeepMind access is hugely valuable. It may have to destroy its copy of the data when the agreement expires next year, but that gives ample time to mine it for health insights."

Source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/20864...

Like any survival-centered human, I let technology pull me along to nirvana.

Why, I now have an iPhone 6. Though I confess that when I took one look at Google Glass, I was reluctant to take two looks at Google Glass.

I'm not sure, though, that I would ever allow electronics to be -- how may I put this? -- inserted inside me. Permanently, that is.

Yet this is what one Swedish woman has done to make her obviously difficult life less onerous. As Sweden's the Local reports, 25-year-old Emilott Lantz from Umeå has a vast existential problem. She really doesn't like carrying keys around.

So she found a completely forward-thinking solution: she had a rice grain-sized microchip inserted in her hand last week.

Some people's instincts will undoubtedly tell them that only those with a brain the size of a rice grain would do such a thing. 

But Lantz, who works for IT consultancy firm Codemill, believes such people may have limited imaginations. She told the Local: "I don't feel as though this is the future. This is the present. To me, it's weird that we haven't seen this sooner."

In one sense, she is right. If there are people prepared to walk around in cyborgian glasses or talk to their watches, at least a microchip shows discretion.

And she's not the only one to let this particular tech get under her skin. She attended the Sime tech conference in Stockholm, where participants were offered the procedure for free. Around 50 members of a Swedish biohackers group called BioNyfiken had the same procedure done in the past month, according to the Local report.

The handchip technology works in a very simple manner: you place your hand against a scanner and you're either admitted or your hand begins to glow, then it burns until it falls off. (That sanction was my own futuristic fantasy.)

Lantz seems to feel a frisson at the idea that she will be able to walk through her office door without having to remember keys or a passcode. She told the Local: "I'm super stoked to have had this done. I can't wait for the property agent to get back to me about letting me into the system so that I can use my chip instead of my keys to get into the office."

I suspect she's quite a character.

More here

More here

The chip allows employees to open doors and use the photocopier without a traditional pass card

Want to gain entry to your office, get on a bus, or perhaps buy a sandwich? We're all getting used to swiping a card to do all these things. But at Epicenter, a new hi-tech office block in Sweden, they are trying a different approach - a chip under the skin.

Felicio de Costa, whose company is one of the tenants, arrives at the front door and holds his hand against it to gain entry. Inside he does the same thing to get into the office space he rents, and he can also wave his hand to operate the photocopier.

That's all because he has a tiny RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted in his hand. Soon, others among the 700 people expected to occupy the complex will also be offered the chance to be chipped. Along with access to doors and photocopiers, they're promised further services in the longer run, including the ability to pay in the cafe with a touch of a hand.

On the day of the building's official opening, the developer's chief executive was, himself, chipped live on stage. And I decided that if was to get to grips with this technology, I had to bite the bullet - and get chipped too.

The whole process is being organised by a Swedish bio-hacking group which was profiled by my colleague Jane Wakefield recently. One of its members, a rather fearsome looking tattooist, inserted my chip.

First, he massaged the skin between my thumb and index finger and rubbed in some disinfectant. The he told me to take a deep breath while he inserted the chip. There was a moment of pain - not much worse than any injection - and then he stuck a plaster over my hand.

Before trying my chip out, I wanted to know more about the thinking behind it. Hannes Sjoblad, whose electronic business card is on his own chip and can be accessed with a swipe of a smartphone, has the title chief disruption officer at the development. I asked him whether people really wanted to get this intimate with technology.

"We already interact with technology all the time," he told me. "Today it's a bit messy - we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn't it be easy to just touch with your hand? That's really intuitive."

When I tested my chip, I found that it was not all that intuitive - I had to twist my hand into an unnatural position to make the photocopier work. And while some of the people around the building were looking forward to being chipped, others were distinctly dubious. "Absolutely not," said one young man when I asked him if he'd sign up. An older woman was more positive about the potential of the technology but saw little point in being chipped just to get through a door.

But Hannes Sjoblad says he and the Swedish Biohacking Group have another objective - preparing us all for the day when others want to chip us. "We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped - the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip." Then, he says, we'll all be able to question the way the technology is implemented from a position of much greater knowledge.

I've returned to Britain with a slightly sore hand - and a chip still under my skin which has my contact details on it. Not that useful, but no doubt more sophisticated chips will soon replace wearable technology like fitness bands or payment devices, and we will get used to being augmented. All sorts of things are possible - whether it becomes culturally acceptable to insert technology beneath our skin is another matter.