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Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the minority-report-but-for-hospitals dept.
An anonymous reader writes Google often gets criticism for its seemingly boundless desire for data collection and analysis, but the company says it has higher ambitions than just figuring out how best to serve advertising. Speaking to the NY Times, Larry Page said, "We get so worried about these things that we don't get the benefits Right now we don't data-mine healthcare data. If we did we'd probably save 100,000 lives next year." By "these things," he means privacy concerns and fear that the data might be misused. But he also pointed to Street View as a case where privacy concerns mostly melted away after people used it and found it helpful. "In the early days of Street View, this was a huge issue, but it's not really a huge issue now. People understand it now and it's very useful. And it doesn't really change your privacy that much. A lot of these things are like that."
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Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

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  • Hey Larry ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Friday June 27, 2014 @11:23AM (#47333721) Homepage

    How many fingers am I holding up?

    Screw you Google. "Do no evil" my ass.

    This is just another instance of him saying "trust us, we're google, give us all your private information, what could possibly go wrong".

    • Re:Hey Larry ... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by causality (777677) on Friday June 27, 2014 @11:30AM (#47333819)

      How many fingers am I holding up?

      Screw you Google. "Do no evil" my ass.

      This is just another instance of him saying "trust us, we're google, give us all your private information, what could possibly go wrong".

      Yes, at some point it's quite rational to decide "this one entity has enough power". He's really very smooth, though. I'll hand him that:

      By "these things," he means privacy concerns and fear that the data might be misused. But he also pointed to Street View as a case where privacy concerns mostly melted away after people used it and found it helpful. "In the early days of Street View, this was a huge issue, but it's not really a huge issue now. People understand it now and it's very useful. And it doesn't really change your privacy that much. A lot of these things are like that."

      That's a very diplomatic way to go about it. People often mistake that for honesty and openness in fact. It's basically a highly polished way of saying, "if you were educated you would agree with me."

      • I couldn't help but wonder if Larry had seen the "Wizard of Oz" last night; especially the last scene when the Wizard is "Outed."
      • What we need to do is put it to him in a way that will verify how true he actually believes he is being. Something along the lines of:

        1. Detail what criteria are used to ascertain that 100,000 lives are to be saved by data mining health records.
        2. Give Google access to said data to save 100,000 lives.
        3. If they don't save at least 100,000 lives, then 100% of Google's assets are seized and liquidated. And 100% of the wealth of the top 100,000 shareholders in Google.
        4. A complete removal of all consumer data

        • What we need to do is put it to him in a way that will verify how true he actually believes he is being. Something along the lines of:

          I think this is a better idea: let him do it for a while, then throw the book at him for every Federal privacy and HIPAA violation they have committed.

        • by dnavid (2842431)

          What we need to do is put it to him in a way that will verify how true he actually believes he is being. Something along the lines of:

          1. Detail what criteria are used to ascertain that 100,000 lives are to be saved by data mining health records. 2. Give Google access to said data to save 100,000 lives. 3. If they don't save at least 100,000 lives, then 100% of Google's assets are seized and liquidated. And 100% of the wealth of the top 100,000 shareholders in Google. 4. A complete removal of all consumer data from the hands of anyone who is, or within the last 10 years, a Google employee.

          If Larry Page isn't willing to put his personal prosperity behind his claims, I don't believe that he is telling the truth.

          I can certainly see the appeal of such a standard. I suspect it would radically improve the level of discourse on the internet if it mandated a similar standard.

      • by hendrips (2722525)

        I was not aware that my privacy concerns about Street View or any other Google projects had "melted away." If anything, my concerns have only intensified.

      • Strange, I thought it was a highly polished way of saying "If we do it fast enough that we can call it a "fait accompli", nobody can stop us. Like blitzkreig."
      • One thing I know about the Googlites is that when they make a public statement like this, it's usually pretty conservative. Self-driving cars seemed like a pipe dream, but they're just about here, and it's for real.

        In fact, Google has been working for years to use their information for predicting disease breakouts [google.org] in a more general sense. If he says 100,000 lives, they've probably already done the math to support that statement.

    • by Mikkeles (698461)

      ... we'd probably save 100,000 lives next year.

      A properly set up health care system could probably save a million.

  • True in theory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thinking Tom (2073828) on Friday June 27, 2014 @11:28AM (#47333789)
    It is true, healthcare data mining could save many lives. The problem is nobody trusts health insurance companies because most of them (a) deliberately make it hard to deal with them in order to get people to give up on collecting claims, (b) refuse to cover at least some of the people we know when they need medical treatment, and (c) limit the quality of care received from most doctors. So nobody trusts them to abstain from using the information to come up with some reason to exclude you either from coverage in the marketplace or for a particular condition.
    • It is true, healthcare data mining could save many lives.

      Sure, in the same way that running from a tiger could lead a person to stumble upon a long-lost burial chamber filled with gold.

      Either way, the stated possibility is not likely to be the motivation for the action, considering the circumstances - The man running from the tiger isn't looking for gold, he's trying to stay alive.

      Similarly, the man running the company that gets rich off invading people's privacy probably isn't advocating even more data mining for our health, so much as his own personal gain.

      • I would disagree. Having this data available to crunch the numbers would definitely benefit healthcare (in the saving lives aspect). Currently (perhaps forever) the dangers probably outweigh the benefits. There is far too much incentive to abuse this data and we require more than some guy saying "hey, it's totally going to be fine" to convince us.

        It's like storing passwords as plaintext. It is super convenient for everyone involved as long as everyone involved is altruistic. But assuming everyone is altruis

        • I would disagree. Having this data available to crunch the numbers would definitely benefit healthcare (in the saving lives aspect).

          Oh, I'm not saying there wouldn't be benefits.

          What I'm saying is, "saving lives" is likely not Larry Page's motivation here, considering what he's advocating for (opening private records), and what business he happens to be in (selling/renting access to private records).

          It's like storing passwords as plaintext. It is super convenient for everyone involved as long as everyone involved is altruistic. But assuming everyone is altruistic is stupid so storing passwords in plaintext is generally regarded as stupid.

          Perfect analogy.

        • by dnavid (2842431) on Friday June 27, 2014 @03:39PM (#47336071)

          I would disagree. Having this data available to crunch the numbers would definitely benefit healthcare (in the saving lives aspect). Currently (perhaps forever) the dangers probably outweigh the benefits. There is far too much incentive to abuse this data and we require more than some guy saying "hey, it's totally going to be fine" to convince us.

          It's like storing passwords as plaintext. It is super convenient for everyone involved as long as everyone involved is altruistic. But assuming everyone is altruistic is stupid so storing passwords in plaintext is generally regarded as stupid.

          I don't think that's a reasonable analogy. Here's a better one. The only reason the government even possesses the capability to perform the sort of mass surveillance they currently conduct is because of massive improvements in computational, storage, and communications technology. They couldn't collect email metadata without the invention and widespread deployment of cheap or essentially free electronic mail. They couldn't keep the data meaningfully without modern storage, or use it without current computer technology. But suppose that right at the birth of the microprocessor someone said that the government couldn't be trusted with the kind of power that technology would eventually provide, and thus we should strive to ensure its never allowed to be developed. No personal computers, no internet, no cloud computing, no smartphones. We now know they would have been right. Even so how many of us would in retrospect eliminate these technologies or forego their benefits? I suspect extremely few. And not because they are stupid or ignorant, but because they genuinely feel those benefits outweigh the consequences of their abuse.

          I would *presume* that any large-scale collection and analysis of medical information will eventually be abused by someone. That still leaves the question of whether its a reasonable tradeoff. Its easy to say no now, when the benefits are only theoretical and the deficits seem obvious. But I think the many people whose lives would be saved or radically improved due to advances in statistical medical analysis would disagree. If someone is going to stand on principle and say nothing is worth the potential abuses, they should at least be honest and accept that their stance isn't bloodless or abstract. The opposition always assumes that the proponents of an idea should be held responsible for its consequences, but they rarely accept responsibility for the consequences of inaction. They should be. Even if its the right thing to do. Perhaps especially so.

          • by BlueStrat (756137)

            I would *presume* that any large-scale collection and analysis of medical information will eventually be abused by someone. That still leaves the question of whether its a reasonable tradeoff.

            Data is power. The more data that is collected about people, the easier they are to control. Just look at every single authoritarian police state and how they always gather as much data on people as possible. It's a means of control.

            I don't know about you, but I don't feel like I have any surplus freedom. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.

            A free and open society is not without risks and responsibilities for the individuals in it. Data collection and mining to the extent that people like Larry Page des

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Well it *might* be true that healthcare data mining could save many lives. That's an educated guess - that large enough sample sets would let researchers discover correlation and causation effects that we have never noticed, and they can do this using machine learning algorithms, or just the nature of enough data to actually show trends.

      But yes, for travellers and for the US you need to worry about what insurance companies are going to do with that data, and if they're going to improperly use that data to

    • What is the value of freedom.
      How many human lives are worth freedoms. That is the biggest question. If you want to be very safe, we need to live and work in a controlled environment with little to no freedoms.

    • you know, just traditional ****HEALTH CARE**** could save 100K lives per year...

      health care is being made artificially scarce to prop up at huge industry that has a bad business model...doesn't **need** a business model

      I agree Page is out of touch, foolish, and amoral...but the greater problem is artificial scarcity

  • by Bookwyrm (3535) on Friday June 27, 2014 @11:31AM (#47333833)

    Given that people are essentially Google's product, or the source of it in terms of information, it makes business sense the Google would be interested in protecting the flock so the company can continue to shear the sheep regularly.

    It would be more worrisome if Google found a way to have the dead be more profitable than the living and decided it should go into the mutton business.

  • how about you give back a small percentage of your riches and save even more lives.

  • by Snapple (3106) on Friday June 27, 2014 @11:37AM (#47333885) Homepage

    There is a HUGE pool of untapped resources. Insurance companies process claims for millions, and have all the data, what is being prescribed, what is not being prescribed.. how long the perscription is for..... Who is seeing a doctor on a regular basis, and who isn't.... Using this data you can find out what treatments are being effective, and which ones aren't. Or is it really worth going to the dentist every 6 months? Isn't that worth it's weight in gold?

    Internally insurance companies can summarize data without compromising their client's as they have the data all ready. Moving it to an external company would involve generating an guid for each identifying piece of information before it leaves the company. Basically a complete scrubbing of the data, but it is not an impossible task.

    Why won't this happen? It's not a privacy issue, it a $$$$ issue.... Drug companies wouldn't want you to find out that they are selling snake oil.. They could loose millions if a report showed that their drug is not as effective as a competitors....

  • Apples and Oranges (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Qzukk (229616) on Friday June 27, 2014 @11:39AM (#47333903) Journal

    The number of people who don't get hired because the shrub in their front yard is trimmed crooked is considerably lower than the number of people who don't get hired because they have MS, cancer or some other chronic disease that will cost the company's insurer big bucks and drive up the cost of insurance and cost the company in lost productivity when they're incapacitated. Oh sorry, I meant, don't get hired because they "aren't a good fit with the company culture".

    • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Friday June 27, 2014 @11:44AM (#47333971)

      As I don't have mod points, I'll just reply and say that you are correct, and it's not limited to just that.

      There have already been documented incidents where people in Canada have been denied entry into the states just because they went into a hospital a decade ago for depression.

      Unlike StreetView, it has *already* been demonstrated that easy access to health information will guarantee abuse.

  • by dorpus (636554) on Friday June 27, 2014 @11:42AM (#47333937)

    I work as a statistician for a hospital chain. We already do data mining and have interventions for our sickest patients. Our experience, consistent with the medical literature, has shown that badgering patients with whatever "preventative" interventions increase hospitalizations and other costs. These programs persist because of a statistical illusion of regression to the mean -- people tend to be enrolled in such programs when their health is at a nadir, then they stabilize therafter. It makes it appear as if the intervention reduced utilization. In fact, a proper comparison shows that it actually increases utilization. Does Google think that spamming millions of people with robo-calls about eating apples will improve anything?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Also: Read an article a while back re: Google's influenza tracker/predictor. Long answer short, missed the marks by a mile. As the article stated, for example, just because someone looks up "flu symptoms", doesn't mean they have the flu, and the IP address for the search might not correlate to where someone might have actually caught the bug (e.g. person is on a business trip right now; sure might be a valuable data point for where this person is spreading the disease).

      Can't imagine spreading this out to mo

    • Neat, had to look that one up.

    • by swillden (191260)

      So... what you're saying is that statistical results can be misapplied by people who don't understand statistics.

      I don't think any citation is needed for that result.

      I assume that you're taking action to correct the understanding of those who support the intervention programs.

    • by atticus9 (1801640)
      I think the 100,000 lives comes from "I'm sick with X and have these 20 unusual things about me" and then a machine can look through data and see what worked and didn't work for everyone else that had X and shared those 20 unusual things, giving doctors more information about how to treat that patient. Versus right now where a doctor will understand X and make an educated decision about how my quirks will effect my treatment.
  • If Only (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ol Olsoc (1175323)
    We could make everyone in the country wear blood pressure monitoring, heart monitoring, make them piss on a stick every time, force them to do this, do that, until of course a new do this do that comes along......

    With all due respect Larry Page, and I mean this very respectfully

    FUCK YOU. FUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOU

    First off, tweaking out those few extra heartbeats as we figure out how to keep you alive a couple years longer while you lie completely demented, catheterized in your bed in the Nusring home, is

    • by swillden (191260)

      First off, tweaking out those few extra heartbeats as we figure out how to keep you alive a couple years longer while you lie completely demented, catheterized in your bed in the Nusring home, is to what or who's benefit?

      This question is a red herring. Oh, there's no doubt that improvements in medicine can be used and long has been used to extend life at any cost, but the low value of that is now widely recognized, and research is taking it into account. I think this would be a very useful application of data mining... analyzing the conditions which lead to a long, healthy life before institutional support is required. That's exactly the sort of thing that can't be done very effectively in studies now, because they are nece

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

        This question is a red herring. Oh, there's no doubt that improvements in medicine can be used and long has been used to extend life at any cost, but the low value of that is now widely recognized, and research is taking it into account. I think this would be a very useful application of data mining... analyzing the conditions which lead to a long, healthy life before institutional support is required. That's exactly the sort of thing that can't be done very effectively in studies now, because they are necessarily much more limited in scope, and generally in duration as well.

        Useful - sure. But here's the issue as far as I'm concerned. Some issues might be a little controversial. While some treatments like high blood pressure and cholesterol medicines have some side effects like impotence, Is forcing you to take it an option? In a world where Google is minig your health data, and presumptively using it to make you live longer, that isn't a strawman argument. What if you don't want to become impotent? In a world where they put people on lifetime maintenance drugs in their early t

        • by swillden (191260)
          Slippery Slope is called a fallacy for a reason. There's a big difference between discovering what actually works and doesn't work, and forcing it on people. If you're worried about being forced, you need to avoid socialized medicine. When you've collectivized healthcare costs then there's a clear "social good" argument to forcing people to make healthy choices.
          • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

            Slippery Slope is called a fallacy for a reason. There's a big difference between discovering what actually works and doesn't work, and forcing it on people. If you're worried about being forced, you need to avoid socialized medicine. When you've collectivized healthcare costs then there's a clear "social good" argument to forcing people to make healthy choices.

            So were you referring to me, or the slippery slope you proposed?

            Healthcare systems have been around longer than teh intertubez. There must be some examples of the Guvmint using force on people before

            Even in my free market approved, non government, business friendly, healthcare provider, they instituted a mandatory "Everyone goes to a doctor to establish a baseline and fills out this online questionaire." Under threat of drastically increased insurance coverage.

            If you didn't want to go to the Insuran

    • by russotto (537200)

      The problem with saving those 100,000 lives is they won't be in the healthy productive years.

      Oh, it's worse than that. You can do all sorts of preventative (but generally unpleasant) things during those healthy productive years which (statistically) add years to your life at the end. But then what have you really done? You've traded pleasure during the years when you can enjoy it for an extra few years of misery.

      • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

        The problem with saving those 100,000 lives is they won't be in the healthy productive years.

        Oh, it's worse than that. You can do all sorts of preventative (but generally unpleasant) things during those healthy productive years which (statistically) add years to your life at the end. But then what have you really done? You've traded pleasure during the years when you can enjoy it for an extra few years of misery.

        I think this quote is appropriate:

        "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW-- What a Ride!"

        - Bill McKenna

  • In the end, this data will only be used to restrict care by algorithm, saving insurance company profits, at the expense of those lives which were statistically 'inconvenient'. Only with a single payer system could this achieve the ends Mr Page cites. My guess is far more than 100K lives will be lost in persuit of this new profit.
  • Dear Larry Page: (Score:2, Informative)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858)

    Dear Larry Page;

    You want to save lives? Then use some of your vast personal fortune to research and discover a cure for cancer, rather than try and convince me that I should give my private information to your company so you can get richer.

    Fuckhead.

    • Oh, look, it's that guy who was sooooooooooo sensitive about "ad-hominems" just a couple threads ago.

      Funny.

      • Oh, look, it's that guy who can't handle criticism, so he feels compelled to stalk people and talk shit.

        Fuck off, stalker.

        • Or I an read multiple threads like anyone else, and happen to spot a tremendous hypocrite who doesn't actually value the principles they say they do, and instead uses them as trite excuses for their own asinine argumentative behavior.

          I'm perfectly willing to accept any and all criticism you have, but it'll be taken with the reasonable critical, and I'm sorry you can't take being called on your bullshit, but I'm not going.

          In the future, try to be earn the respect you go around demanding like a child.

    • by Ichijo (607641)

      Why not both at the same time?

      • Because one is actually helpful to society, and the other one is just a way for the rich to get richer?

        • by swillden (191260)

          Because one is actually helpful to society, and the other one is just a way for the rich to get richer?

          Saving 100,000 lives per year is not helpful to society? And no one would make any money from a cure for cancer?

          • Because one is actually helpful to society, and the other one is just a way for the rich to get richer?

            Saving 100,000 lives per year is not helpful to society?

            Heh... my first thought on reading that was, "of course it's not! That's 100,000 more mouths to feed!"

            No, the real response is, he just pulled that number out of his ass to convince you that letting his company spy on you is a good thing. "What might happen if X were Y" is unquantifiable in most cases, this being one.

            So then you have to ask, "why would a guy like Larry Page make shit up in an attempt to convince me to open my health records up to his company - a company that makes it's profits off the sale

            • by swillden (191260)

              To which I say, the answer is pretty damn obvious - he wants to make more money.

              Meh. Page has more money than anyone can spend, and if you listen to him talk it quickly becomes clear that money was never his real motivation anyway. Unlike many CEOs, for whom business is their life and money is how they keep score, Page is interested in technology and what it can do for people. Money is what you have to have to be able to create and deploy world-changing technology. Not that I expect you to believe any of that. Your mind is made up: he has money therefore he is evil.

    • by swillden (191260)

      You want to save lives? Then use some of your vast personal fortune to research and discover a cure for cancer

      Actually, he's more ambitious than that. He's invested a big chunk of his personal fortune in research that's aiming to cure death.

      • You want to save lives? Then use some of your vast personal fortune to research and discover a cure for cancer

        Actually, he's more ambitious than that. He's invested a big chunk of his personal fortune in research that's aiming to cure death.

        So... he's insane?

        If he hires a German woman named Brucher to be his secretary, I'm gonna crap myself.

        • by swillden (191260)

          You want to save lives? Then use some of your vast personal fortune to research and discover a cure for cancer

          Actually, he's more ambitious than that. He's invested a big chunk of his personal fortune in research that's aiming to cure death.

          So... he's insane?

          Why is that insanity? If we can find a way to get the body to continue repairing itself the way it does when people are young, they ought to be able to live forever. Of course, we don't know what the mental effects of hundreds or thousands of years of experience might be. That seems likely to impose additional bounds on human life, but perhaps we can find solutions there as well.

          And, perhaps even if the longevity research can't find a way to cure death, it does seem likely to be a fruitful are of research

          • You want to save lives? Then use some of your vast personal fortune to research and discover a cure for cancer

            Actually, he's more ambitious than that. He's invested a big chunk of his personal fortune in research that's aiming to cure death.

            So... he's insane?

            Why is that insanity?

            Two words: Limited resources. Just look at all the problems we're having with the current human population, who fortunately die off occasionally; can you imagine how difficult it would be to divvy up the planet's finite resources if nobody ever died*?

            Well, I guess I should add the caveat of "... of natural causes" to that, since I guarantee a lot of people would die of either starvation or as a result of the inevitable resource wars.

            * Of course, being realistic, the "death cure" wouldn't be available to all

  • The sooner projects like IBM's Watson can get their teeth into our medical data the sooner our lives will be much improved. I spent 8 hard years suffering from Celiac disease before receiving a diagnosis. There is much to be done in the medical field.
  • .... said the Spider to the Fly.

    Seriously - once this genie is out of the bottle there is no way to bottle it back up. The fear of employment repercussions, insurance, etc all become a concern.

    “For me, I’m so excited about the possibilities to improve things for people, my worry would be the opposite," he told the New York Times's Farhad Manjoo. "We get so worried about these things that we don’t get the benefits Right now we don’t data-mine healthcare data. If we did we’d probably save 100,000 lives next year."

    Eeesh.. I heard this same logic, earlier this year, being applied to the pooling of all NHS records for pharmacons and researches to peel through in the UK. "Think of all the causality linking and better and better benefits".. Eeep! What?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new... [telegraph.co.uk]
    http://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/t... [www.nhs.uk]

  • Honestly, while there are many issues of privacy in healthcare, a large number of ilnesses do not have the kind of prejudice related to them that makes privacy essential.

    Yes, if you have AIDS, I can easily see that you want to keep it secret.

    But I value my privacy immensely (no facebook for me), but feel fine telling the world I have kidney disease.

  • Neat! I have a better Idea. If we had a sensor that we embedded in everyone's rectum that made regularly made API calls to a government database with a list of "banned substances" (think transfats, tobbaco, drugs, etc...) and would detonate on contact with those substances we should save tens of millions of lives!

    Mr. Page, what you don't get is that, we are just as smart as you are. We understand the benefits. What you are missing is that the rest of us also, unlike you, understand the costs. You're a moron

  • "Customers who suffered this disease also purchased diagnostic tests for ..."
  • We have far cheaper and more effective ways to curb yearly mortality in americans. If we focus on preventable disease and nutrition before we start pumping cash into silicon valley, the long term benefit will most certainly be greater than healthcare datamine moneytrain 4.0. here are some starters:
    outlaw cigarette smoking: make a big dent in the 480,000 deaths per year it causes.
    clamp down on fast food and set a realistic dietary outline for americans, not one bought and paid for by the dairy industry
    • outlaw cigarette smoking: make a big dent in the 480,000 deaths per year it causes.

      Because outlawing alcohol and marijiuana worked so well for us.

      It should be noted that cigarettes are already smuggled in the US (there are States with really high tobacco taxes, enough so that it's worth smuggling even though cigarettes are legal). So what makes you think that that'll stop just because you make smuggling MORE lucrative?

  • If data were only provided to doctors and legitimate research institutions I would be fine. Google would never do that as there would not be enough money in it. If the data is going to be sold to the insurance industry, then no, I'm not fine. If the data is going to be sent to the government (CDC, HHS) without being aggregated and having personally identifying information removed, then no, I'm not fine.
    • by Anomalyst (742352)
      I'm too effing lazy to search for it, but wasnt there a study that revealed anonymized data, in many cases (like exhaustive medical details), could be correlated back to an actual person with surprising (>60% IIRC) accurcy using the remaining data? Even if Google were a trustworthy custodian (unlikely) and would refrain from that action, others (e,g, insurance companies, employers) are unlikely to be so scrupulous.
      • by Tucan (60206)

        You are probably thinking about Latanya Sweeney's study out of CMU. There are standards for de-identification that use her work (and others) to prevent the ability to re-identify probabilistically.

  • of dying early but living free of massive corporate influence over my health and daily life.

  • Sure, people will bitch and moan. Why doesn't the city just apply an exorbitant tax to all sugary drinks, regardless of size?

  • "But he also pointed to Street View as a case where privacy concerns mostly melted away after people used it and found it helpful. "In the early days of Street View, this was a huge issue, but it's not really a huge issue now. People understand it now and it's very useful. And it doesn't really change your privacy that much. A lot of these things are like that."

    No Larry, the privacy concerns have not melted away. You've simply ignored the issue except where forced by the courts and keep repeating that the

  • I am *sooo* looking forward to my Glass-enabled Bluetooth rectal thermometer!
  • As under there plan that data can get you blacklisted makeing your only doctor the ER and the jail / prison system.

  • by Tucan (60206) on Friday June 27, 2014 @01:43PM (#47334999)

    Larry Page is just complaining that Google doesn't have the data. These data already exist and are being extensively studied by researchers in academics, government, health insurers, employers, and pharmaceutical companies. The de-identified data can be licensed and analyzed by anyone. The fully identifiable information is routinely analyzed by the owners of the data.

    The problem is not access to the data, the problem is that it is difficult to make valid inferences about causation from observational data.

    • THANK YOU!!

      Fudging morons who think data mining is the solution to health problems. Gotta give Larry Page credit - he got the morons on his side.
  • by dentin (2175) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:16PM (#47335319) Homepage

    I'm actually shocked by the shortsightedness of the slashdot crowd on this one. I expected at least -some- positive responses to be moderated up. Instead, I see a lot of misconceptions and ignorance of the actual problem Page, like Aubrey Degray, is trying to address.

    We have a hundred thousand people worldwide dying due to various medical problems and the diseases of old age. These medical problems and diseases are complicated. They consist of tens of thousands of interlocking subproblems, so many that we often take several thousand specific issues and lump them together to call them something like 'cancer'. Fixing these problems - all of them - isn't something that a single drug company, or a single nation is going to do.

    It's going to take everybody, everywhere. And in order to fix all these things - cancers, diseases of old age, genetic problems, and more - is going to take research, time, and data. Lots of data.

    Lots and lots of data.

    People whine about privacy, oh no the bad guys are going to steal my information, ignoring the fact that a hundred thousand people a day die and that thier information could help. All of these medical problems are tractable, all of them are soluble, but they'd be a hell of a lot easier to solve if researchers weren't hamstrung by ridiculous information privacy restrictions.

    I don't want immortality in good health just for me, I want it for everyone, and this idiotic fear of having information released is standing in the way of that. A hundred thousand people a day dead, because we fear someone might discover an abnormally BPH score, HIV, or a genetic propensity for Alzheimers. What a steaming load of shortsighted crap.

    • "...but they'd be a hell of a lot easier to solve if researchers weren't hamstrung by ridiculous information privacy restrictions."

      Researchers aren't hamstrung by privacy restrictions. The fact that you said that shows how utterly ignorant you are. You think disclosing people's medical records isn't a violation of their privacy and that it won't be used against them, shows you don't care. People's medical conditions have been used against them. That's why there are privacy laws moron. Time for you t
      • by dentin (2175)

        It's not at all that I don't care. It's that I care more about the hundred thousand people per day dying terrible deaths in pain and fear due to completely preventable and repairable biochemical failure. Taken in isolation, yeah, I'd prefer privacy - but when weighed against that level of suffering and death, it's not even a contest.

    • Why not give people the choice?

      They can choose to expose all of their personal medical information to the world for public consumption and sale, or they can keep their information private. Better yet, allow people to sell their medical information to companies.

      That way people who enjoy their privacy can keep their privacy. People like you who care more about data can have their data. Everyone wins.

      The major problem here is the brokering of private data, not only without consent, but also without any knowled

    • My proposals: https://www.changemakers.com/m... [changemakers.com]
      https://www.newschallenge.org/... [newschallenge.org]

      And also advice to Larry from that my own individual sensemaking from 2012:
      "Larry Page & Sergey Brin hopefully getting enough sunlight and vegetables?"
      https://groups.google.com/foru... [google.com]

      • by dentin (2175)

        Stuff like this can help, but keep in mind that nutrition is, in the long run, a dead end. Even the best of nutrition and exercise will see you very lucky indeed to reach one hundred years old; for an indefinite lifespan, we will need actual repair and maintenance techniques. http://sens.org [sens.org] has more information on what will be necessary, and areas where research is (at the moment) particularly weak.

        • While you make a good point, nutrition works right now (along with exercise, good sleep, a less stressful lifestyle, avoiding hazards like smoking, community connectedness, and so on like in "Blue Zones"). The rest of life extension is just a hope that maybe we can create new technologies. Also, for most people, if they can make it in good health to 100+ years old via such well-proved things, they will then be around for more breakthroughs in the next 50+ years.

          Also, probably most invasive life extension te

  • Really? That's it?
    You could save that many without the mass surveillance, just by increasing hospital staff and ERT numbers.
    Make it millions and you'll have my attention.
    Tens of millions and you'll have my whole hearted support and participation.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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