NHS medical records given to telecoms group to predict mental breakdowns
- The telecoms giant O2 has been given access to a cache of NHS medical records to develop an algorithm aimed at predicting when mental health crises might occur.
- Patients’ consent was not sought before Telefonica, the Spanish group that trades as O2 in the UK, was given free access to the trove of records from Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, according to documents, published last month under freedom of information laws.
- The data includes five years’ of anonymised records belonging to current and former patients.
- In the document, the NHS trust said that “25,000 people experience a mental health crisis every year” in Birmingham and Solihull, suggesting that data on tens of thousands of patients could have been shared.
Source: The Times