Google secretly gathering health data of Americans: Report
Google is reportedly gathering health information of millions of US citizens -- without informing them or their doctors -- to design an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven software, the media reported.
 
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, "Google is engaged with one of the US's largest health-care systems on a project to collect and crunch the detailed personal-health information of millions of people across 21 states" and at least 150 Google staffers may have access to the data.
 
St. Louis-based faith-based healthcare organisation Ascension is sharing lab results, diagnoses and hospitalisation records -- as well as health histories complete with patient names and dates of birth -- with Google, the report claimed.
 
"The initiative, code-named 'Project Nightingale,' appears to be the biggest effort yet by a Silicon Valley giant to gain a toehold in the health-care industry through the handling of patients medical data," the report said.
 
The crunching of health data is the next big frontier for tech giants as Apple to Amazon and Microsoft are aiming big to infuse data findings into their devices and solutions in the burgeoning healthcare space.
 
The New York Times later wrote that "dozens of Google employees" may have access to sensitive patient data and some may have downloaded that data too.
 
As part of "Project Nightingale", Ascension uploaded patient data to Google's Cloud servers.
 
In a blog post, Google tried to clarify its partnership with Ascension.
 
"All of Google's work with Ascension adheres to industry-wide regulations regarding patient data, and come with strict guidance on data privacy, security and usage," said Tariq Shaukat, President, Industry Products and Solutions, Google Cloud.
 
Google said it has a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Ascension, which governs access to Protected Health Information (PHI) for the purpose of helping providers support patient care.
 
"To be clear: under this arrangement, Ascension's data cannot be used for any other purpose than for providing these services we're offering under the agreement, and patient data cannot and will not be combined with any Google consumer data," said the company.
 
Ascension also issued a statement, saying it is working with Google to optimise the health and wellness of individuals and communities, and deliver a comprehensive portfolio of digital capabilities that enhance the experience of Ascension consumers, patients and clinical providers across the continuum of care.
 
"All work related to Ascension's engagement with Google is HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) compliant and underpinned by a robust data security and protection effort and adherence to Ascension's strict requirements for data handling," said the healthcare company.
 
According to Google, some of the solutions it is working on with Ascension are not yet in active clinical deployment, but rather are in early testing.
 
"This is one of the reasons we used a code name for the work -- in this case, Nightingale," it added.
 
However, neither Google nor Ascension directly replied to the WSJ report.
 
In 2017, Google partnered with the University of Chicago Medical Centre to develop machine learning tools capable of "accurately predicting medical events -- such as whether patients will be hospitalised, how long they will stay, and whether their health is deteriorating despite treatment for conditions such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, or heart failure."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    'Selfi' patients begin to trickle into UP's SGPIMS
    Do you get depressed if your post on the social media does not get enough 'likes'? Do you want to post every moment of your life - happy or sad - on the social media? Are you always into gaming if not clicking selfies and leave your family members embarrassed at social events?
     
    If even two of the above questions have 'yes' as an answer, then you are suffering from 'Selfitis'.
     
    'Selfitis' is a genuine mental condition and people who feel compelled to continually post pictures of themselves on the social media may need help, psychologists have warned. 
     
    Selfitis is a condition described as the obsessive taking of selfies, although it is currently not listed as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, popularly known as DSM-5. 
     
    However, obsessive taking of selfies and posting to social media has been found to be linked to many symptoms common to mental disorders. The term was first coined in 2014 to describe obsessive selfie-taking.
     
    The Lucknow-based Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) is getting four to five patients, suffering from symptoms of Selfitis, on a daily basis.
     
    Pediatrician and youth counselor, Dr Piyali Bhattacharya, said patients coming to her have an obsessive desire to take selfies even when they are alone in their room. "They slip into depression if the selfie they post on the social media does not get the required appreciation or 'likes'. This is an advanced stage of digital addiction," she said.
     
    According to her, the youth is most affected by this disorder. "The youth are losing their sleep, their work abilities are slowing down and they are also alienating themselves from friends, relatives and family," she said.
     
    Researchers in the Nottingham Trent University in United Kingdom first defined the disorder that has three stages.
     
    "If a person takes more than three selfies in a day and posts them on the social media, then he or she is suffering from Selfitis," the doctor said.
     
    Dr Adarsh Tripathi, a technology de-addiction expert, said the problem was acquiring serious proportions.
     
    "There is no such thing as privacy in today's times. People are posting photographs of their honeymoon and even the mobile companies are promoting new selfie tools. The social behaviour is changing and this obsession is making the youth lose self control. People are also losing their lives while taking selfie from dangerous locations," he said.
     
    According to researchers, the number of selfie deaths is rapidly increasing and the trend of live streaming suicides is getting increasingly dangerous.
     
    Dr R.K. Tiwari, a well known psychiatrist, said, "The treatment of Selfitis is not yet well defined and we are treating patients symptomatically. Initially, we counsel the patients and tell them about the consequences of the disorder but most of them are beyond the counseling stage. In such cases, we treat them for insomnia and depression."
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Time hasn't diminished Sahir Ludhianvi's appeal
    October 25 is the 30th death anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi. Presented below is an exclusive extract from the book, "Sahir - A Literary Portrait", by Surinder Deol
     
    Sahir passed away nearly forty years ago, but time has not diminished interest in his personality, his poetry, and his 'love affairs', as observed in social media, and there's an enduring public interest in his film lyrics. What is behind this undying attraction for him and his work?
     
    What is that unstoppable magic that draws us time and again to Sahir's poems and melodies? His book Talkhiyaan has appeared in dozens of Urdu and Hindi editions (both legal and pirated), and it is by far the largest-selling Urdu poetry book after Divan-e Ghalib. Compilations of his poetry have sold more than the books written by his progressive contemporaries like Majrooh, Majaz, Kaifi, Akhtar, and Jafri combined. What is behind this popular appeal that shows no sign of letting up? There are no easy answers.
     
    I think there is the magic of Sahir's enigmatic personality. The choices he made in his life were far removed from the routine. He was a recluse, living alone in a big bungalow without any thought of starting his own family. His concept of family - he himself, his mother, and his two cousin sisters - was limiting. What would happen to his legacy when this family of four passed away? He never paid any attention to this.
     
    He wrote highly appealing poetry that was deeply romantic, but it also had strong social, cultural, and political undertones.
     
    History has not been kind to progressives: The Soviet Union collapsed. China, once a bastion of communism, has become a one-party capitalistic state while nursing dreams of global domination. Nehruvian socialism in India has seen several dilutions through market-oriented reforms. Yet, hope for an equitable society still resonates.
     
    There is a powerful message in Sahir's poetry against the inequalities of wealth, maltreatment of women, exploitation of labour, and the threat of a more deadly nuclear war that still holds appeal, and his words give vivid expression to these injustices and fears in a most compelling poetic language.
     
    India's richest 1 per cent, according to an Oxfam report (2017), own 73 per cent of wealth. The position of women has improved over the past seventy years, but there's a huge scope for improvement. Child marriage is common, and access to education by young girls is limited. Incidents of rape and sexual assault are on the rise.
     
    In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Development reported the presence of over 3 million female sex workers in India, with about 36 per cent entering the trade before the age of eighteen. These statistics show the difficult task inherent in raising the status of women to be at par with men, something that all progressive poets strongly advocated.
     
    On the threat of a nuclear war, there are not only bad state actors globally who might use nuclear bombs to advance their interests, but regionally, India and Pakistan have the nuclear potential to completely destroy the whole subcontinent in case of a new armed conflict.
     
    Although some people assert that Sahir separated himself from the literary world after he had achieved success as a film lyricist, he never agreed with this assessment. He treated literary pursuit as the core purpose of his life's journey.
     
    Every poem or ghazal that he wrote mirrored some facet of his own life. It was a tapestry into which he wove the fabric of his aspirations, his successes and his failures, and the bitter and sweet lessons of his life; there is no way to separate his biography from his poetry. 
     
    Sahir's words often paint a gloomy picture of the world we live in, but we should not lose sight of his optimism. Although all progressive poets were optimistic in the sense that the revolution they expected to occur was supposed to be the natural cure for society's social and economic problems, Sahir, not being a member of the Communist Party, expected things to improve through social and political action outside the scope of a grand socialist revolution.
     
    For him, the day of a better tomorrow was not simply guesswork. It had to happen because people have the potential to create a better future for themselves. And this is something they are passionate about doing. Notice the words of a popular lyric from the 1958 movie Phir Subha Hogi:
     
    That dawn will come one day- when the veil of night will be lifted from the dark times we live in. When the clouds of suffering will dissolve and an ocean of joyfulness will rise up. When the sky will dance unchained and the earth will sing wildly. That dawn will come one day.
     
    Waiting for that dawn since the beginning, we have been living and dying. In search of the nectar of that dawn, we have been swallowing cups of poison. That dawn will someday show mercy to these hungry and thirsty souls. Th at dawn will come one day. Reading Sahir affects the reader on several levels - rational, intellectual, emotional, and psychological. No wonder readers can't get enough of Sahir!
     
    A poet, who consciously chose to call himself Sahir - meaning a magician or a wizard - needs an aura of mystery; without this veil of the unknown and unexpected, his magic will cease to have any appeal. Sahir's work is a feast in every sense of the word and, as someone who has enjoyed his poetry over the past several decades, I would say that there is great joy in this onslaught of lyrical thoughts and romantic overtures that his poetry offers.
     
    The 20th century produced many outstanding Urdu poets, both modern and postmodern in their thinking, who rescued the ghazal from the fascinating, though totally unrealistic, themes of the previous centuries, and through their poems and ghazals brought new life to a poetic tradition that was losing its touch with reality.
     
    The relevant question is not whether Sahir was better than Faiz, Makhdoom, Majaz, Majrooh, Kaifi, or Jafri. They had much in common, but at the same time, each one of them had a distinctive style. Perhaps Faiz was the greatest of them all.
     
    But that does not minimize Sahir's importance. He is a poet of life who is in love with it despite all its bitterness and unpleasantness. Above all, he is a poet of peace, with concerns for the well-being of humanity. In a short poem titled 'I Love Life,' he wrote:
     
    I love life. I can't separate myself from beauty. The fire of passionate love burns in my heartbeat even today. And my heart is not doused yet. Into the tapestry of life, I'm busy adding colour. I'm still occupied, worrying about the fate of the universe, and my personal suffering has not yet come to an end. The sacred word is dear to me. Oppression is unpleasant. Even today, my compact with the new age is something that I shall keep. I haven't died yet.
     
    (Surinder Deol, who has held senior positions with the World Bank, IDBI and MDI, has translated Ghalib's verses in "The Treasure: A Modern Rendition of Ghalib's Lyrical Love Poetry" and Gopi Chand Narang's classic Treatise on Ghalib as "Ghalib: Innovative Meanings and the Ingenious Mind". He lives in Potomac, Maryland. Published with permission from Oxford University Press)
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    Ramesh Poapt

    2 months ago

    great suri paji! we expected few lines of his memorable songs,
    not English translation! There many many crackers from Sahir.

    shadi katyal

    2 months ago

    It is nice to see such articles to keep the memories of our culture and poets and it also shows the changes in past few years. Thanks

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