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

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the minority-report-but-for-hospitals dept.

Medicine 186

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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Hey Larry ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47333721)

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 ... (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 4 months ago | (#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."

Re:Hey Larry ... (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 4 months ago | (#47334047)

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."

Re:Hey Larry ... (1)

Score Whore (32328) | about 4 months ago | (#47334211)

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.

Re:Hey Larry ... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 months ago | (#47334531)

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.

Re:Hey Larry ... (1)

hendrips (2722525) | about 4 months ago | (#47334213)

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.

He has no clue. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333859)

See, as an extremely rich and powerful BILLIONAIRE, he doesn't have to give a fuck about anything. He doesn't have to worry that any negative information against him will prevent him from getting a job, loan, or harassed.

We peons have to worry. ADA, EEOC, or other laws preventing discrimination?

AhHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Why you weren't hired because you have AIDs, too old, cancer, Bi-Polar, ....! No sir! You don't have the skills!

PROVE otherwise. Oh, and good luck getting that $3,000 retainer for a lawyer (Contingency fees? How quaint.)

Privacy is necessary because there are folks who will harm you out of there own ignorance or fear that you will somehow harm them.

Re:He has no clue. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47333997)

Privacy is necessary because there are folks who will harm you out of there own ignorance or fear that you will somehow harm them.

Or, in this case, for profit.

Plain and simple, this is about getting Google more information they can use to generate revenue.

This has nothing to do with saving lives, it has everything to do with eroding privacy and ensuring Google makes more money.

Larry Page doesn't like the idea of there being private data. Because Larry Page is an asshole.

Re:He has no clue. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334081)

>This has nothing to do with saving lives, it has everything to do with eroding privacy and ensuring Google makes more money.

That's the view that Slashdotters will take, but people who haven't gone off the deep-end like this dumbass community may have different views of these things.

Re:He has no clue. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334215)

That's the view that Slashdotters will take, but people who haven't gone off the deep-end like this dumbass community may have different views of these things.

Huh?

Google's business is pimping people's data and selling advertisement.

They are NOT a tech firm - although technology is ancillary to their main business.

Google's business is to collect data, sell that data and sell advertising.

The search engine and whatnot is just a means to collect data.

Deep end?

Well, my fellow AC, please explain why YOU are an AC.

Re:He has no clue. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 4 months ago | (#47334447)

See, as an extremely rich and powerful BILLIONAIRE, he doesn't have to give a fuck about anything. He doesn't have to worry that any negative information against him will prevent him from getting a job, loan, or harassed.

Oh, it gets worse...

At my previous job, United Healthcare levied a $70 per person per-month surcharge for "tobacco use", and those who claimed they didn't use tobacco were subject to random testing. Those who failed the testing were fired on the spot.

Now they'd just have to check the data mine and see if you bought a pack of smokes, and levy the fee anyway (but this time make it bigger, because, you know, you . I could also see healthcare insurers charging you extra money if you visit a fast-food joint more than x times of month (where x > 1), or bought more than x amounts of soda at the grocery store.

Before the whole ACA thing, it wouldn't be a big deal - you just don't bother with the full-coverage health insurance if you're young and healthy, instead opting for catastrophic coverage (where this wouldn't really be a factor), and you'd be fine. Post-ACA, you're required to pay for the thing, and you're going to get screwed financially if you don't live an 'approved' lifestyle. It's like Bloomberg's little soda ban, except now it's nationwide and the government no longer has to enforce it.

Fuck. That.

Re:He has no clue. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 4 months ago | (#47334475)

d'oh - site ate part of my post:

"(but this time make it bigger, because, you know, you should have been more up-front in that little health survey they required you to take.)"

Re: Hey Larry ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334465)

Yes, exactly. I'm absolutely NOT ok with street view, but because our DOJ refuses to enforce our laws there is t much I can do about it. You be grocer to mention that you will profit from that data, you also refuse to have an adult, reality based conversation about healthcare. Data mining and gadgets don't save people, changing our dangerous habits does, and why you are even a part of that conversation is a mystery (it's as baffling as Bill Gates in education). You are one of the most delusional and self-centered/aggrandizing people to ever walk the earth, Larry. Get bent. We don't want it, or you.

Re: Hey Larry ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334479)

*neglected, not be grocer. Though Google is definitely grosser. ;)

Re:Hey Larry ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334635)

"Do no evil" my ass.

That implies that collecting data is inherently evil. It is not. Much like, well, just about anything, it can be used for evil, but it is not, itself, evil.

For a car analogy, I can use my car to run down puppies and kittens and little old nuns, but that does not mean cars are evil.

Not that much... A lot of these things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333737)

"And it doesn't really change your privacy that much. A lot of these things are like that."

Not that much... A lot of these things...
Not that much... A lot of these things...
Not that much... A lot of these things...

Exactly the reason why... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333757)

... it should NOT be done. Didn't you notice we have an over-population problem Larry ?

Wow!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333759)

100,000 people who will NEVER DIE. And this is EVERY YEAR. Let's move forward with this plan NOW!

This Just In (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333781)

Fox: Having us guard the hen house MIGHT save 100,000 chickens per year.

Re:This Just In (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333891)

Your analogy doesn't work. You're implying that Google is actively killing people.

Re:This Just In (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334043)

Not actively, they will just let insurer know that you have a 90% chance of developing some very expensive but curable disaease in 10 years so they will decide to not allow you that expensive organ transplant today that could save your life...

Re:This Just In (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334223)

True, Google is more like the asshole selling tickets to people who want to watch the slaughter.

Banning cars could save more lives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333783)

Does that mean we should ban cars?

Re:Banning cars could save more lives (1)

peon_a-z,A-Z,0-9$_+! (2743031) | about 4 months ago | (#47334013)

That's a pretty near-sighted idea.

If you ban cars, how will people in areas of the world designed for cars get access to food? Heathcare?

How will companies that service utilities service the infrastructure?

How many people would consequentially die by banning cars? Much more than the car deaths per year.

You have the power... to stop being a negative, short-sighted person. Think about a solution rather than trolling.

Re:Banning cars could save more lives (0)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 4 months ago | (#47334555)

Well, let's go into nanny-state mode and see:

If you ban cars, how will people in areas of the world designed for cars get access to food? Heathcare?

Expand mass transit and force people to relocate into denser urban living situations (see below as to how). Fixed.

How will companies that service utilities service the infrastructure?

Eventually, certified/approved CDL-licensed drivers will still be allowed on the roads, but no one else without a special (and costly) permit shall be allowed. Because, you know, the commercial drivers don't die as often as the typical passenger car drivers do.

How many people would consequentially die by banning cars?

You ban it the same way TFA wants to ban smokes and fatty foods - you make it so effing expensive and obstacle-laden that folks won't have a choice but to move to a dense city and rely solely on buses, trains, etc. You know, sort of like Caves of Steel [wikipedia.org] .

  It's for your own good, Citizen; we care enough about you to go to all this bother to protect you, so why are you whining so much about it and not just doing what you're told?

Live free or die (2)

Stellian (673475) | about 4 months ago | (#47334051)

Banning cars could save more lives - Does that mean we should ban cars?

What effects would that have on the economic productivity of the country ? In turn, how much poverty will that create ? How many extra people will die as a result of not affording medical care ?

And this is a simple utilitarian exercise where you compare lives lost with lives lost. What about more complex dilemmas (see title of post) ? Should a nation never send troops in any conflict and accept any onerous terms the adversary imposes, for the sake of preserving all lives ? Should we ban all individual choice and responsibility, ban all sugary drinks, impose a state-controlled healthy diet ?

The notion that "lives can be saved" is not and cannot be used as the sole deciding argument on a societal issue. We are free individuals, we associate in a community seeking to improve our perceived welfare - one cannot treat the welfare as a goal in itself segregated from what we as individuals want.

True in theory (5, Insightful)

Thinking Tom (2073828) | about 4 months ago | (#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.

Re:True in theory (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47334127)

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.

Re:True in theory (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 4 months ago | (#47334657)

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 deny you care you paid for, or if it makes it impossible to get healthcare coverage based on data.

Unfortunately there's no easy way to make medical data privacy irrelevant. Even in places where you cannot be denied coverage regardless of your medical history (say the NHS, where even if you break into NHS hospitals and steal stuff all the time they still cannot deny you entry for care) you still don't necessarily want your neighbour to be able to discover that you where hospitalized for having a dildo stuck up your ass.

Probably? (0)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 months ago | (#47333791)

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.

And by "probably save 100,000 lives next year" Larry means "some numbers I pulled out of my ass to make this idea sound good".

Re:Probably? (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 4 months ago | (#47334565)

I wonder why he also didn't mention the number of lives that have been saved by Google Street View.

Re:Probably? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#47334717)

According to the first link I found on Google, there was 2.4 million deaths in 2010. Saving 100,000 lives would mean there would be 4% fewer deaths. That's a pretty good outcome. But how long would that last? Everybody dies eventually. When you save a life you're really just putting off death.Is prolonging death. Eventually those people would die. You could probably put off death for a few years, bring up the life expectancy by a few years, but eventually the number of deaths would approach what it was at before.

tracking hours in front of a phone/laptop/PC (0)

dslmodem (733085) | about 4 months ago | (#47333813)

Should let Google track the amount of time that people spend in front of phones/laptops/pcs. Then, they can send us a warning "Go Exercise Losers!"

Re:tracking hours in front of a phone/laptop/PC (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 4 months ago | (#47334107)

How about, "Hay Vender of product A, a person is texting on their phone, we can send a targeted ad about your product that will help them with the problem they are texting about."

Because dead people don't view ads... yet. (2)

Bookwyrm (3535) | about 4 months ago | (#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.

I look forward to it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333843)

When they can watch what I eat, tell me not to drink soda, send the food police to my bbq for having red meat, then deny service since my bmi shows me as obese despite a doctor telling me Im incredibly healthy for my age!. Its like Obama and the lefts fucking wet dream.

100K? let us aim higher (1)

jmd (14060) | about 4 months ago | (#47333871)

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

Re:100K? let us aim higher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334413)

kind of like standing over a plant watering it all day thinking that will make it grow faster and healthier.

Re:100K? let us aim higher (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334437)

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

Done. He gave $177 million last year. Your turn.

http://philanthropy.com/articl... [philanthropy.com]

Think about it... Seriously... (4, Insightful)

Snapple (3106) | about 4 months ago | (#47333885)

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....

I'd rather think about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333941)

Ibbity bibbity, sibbity sab.
Ibbity bibbity, canal boat.
Dictionary. Down the ferry.
Mary Mary, quite contrary.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy lost his hair.
Scooba-doo and scooba-die,
That chicken`s not too young to fry.
Life is real, life is earnest.
If you`re cold, turn up the furnace. ...but all these 21st century privacy invading snoopsters need to be thrown into that furnace to fuel it.

Re:I'd rather think about this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334383)

niggers

Medical Information Bureau (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334133)

The parent is talking about the Medical Information Bureau - MIB [mib.com] - notice the bullshit in the gray box.

With MIB, Lexis Nexus, Acxiom, credit bureaus and government collecting information about us, we are living in a corporate state that would make an East German Stasi agent cream his pants.

Apples and Oranges (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | about 4 months ago | (#47333903)

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".

Re:Apples and Oranges (5, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 4 months ago | (#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.

Re:Apples and Oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334139)

Many of the privacy concerns with StreetView melted away...
After Google lost a lawsuit about hacking wireless access points...
and after Google lost another lawsuit for taking pictures through windows and into homes from thier own private driveways...
and after various other complaints caused Google to blur faces and license plates...
And after some people, like Justin Bieber, got Google to blur his entire house...
and...

Well I guess the privacy concerns melted away when Google addressed the concerns sufficiently to stop losing lawsuits because of Google's negligent and irresponsible behavior.

Re:Apples and Oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334355)

You do know that anyone can request their house to be blurred in StreetView right? Not just Bieber and his ilk?

Re:Apples and Oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334495)

After Google lost a lawsuit about hacking wireless access points...

Citation needed. I think you may have entirely misunderstood what you read.

Because it saves money and lives... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333925)

the Republicans will never let this happen. With their current rule of this country, expect to see nothing like that helps the people to be allowed. That is the way of their kind. It's sad to see health care here destroyed by them. We could have, as an example from just yesterday, had a country where huge soft drinks aren't shoved down our throats, but instead the Republicans got the common sense measures reversed in order to hurt the health of this country. Again, that is the way of their kind.

Re:Because it saves money and lives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334135)

You think the Republicans are in charge right now?

my privacy trumps your health (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333929)

the subject says it all.

Re:my privacy trumps your health (2)

ranton (36917) | about 4 months ago | (#47334117)

my privacy trumps my health and the health of my loved ones.

Fixed that for you. Not that this makes you wrong, but lets not pretend only faceless strangers die because researchers don't have access to information we are already collecting.

What if it will kill 100,000 people instead? (2, Interesting)

dorpus (636554) | about 4 months ago | (#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?

What if it will kill 100,000 people instead? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334157)

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 more serious ailments.

Re:What if it will kill 100,000 people instead? (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | about 4 months ago | (#47334541)

mod parent up

What if it will kill 100,000 people instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334611)

Very very well put.

nadir (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 4 months ago | (#47334681)

Neat, had to look that one up.

Hey Larry... your a little late to this party... (1)

Kevin by the Beach (3600539) | about 4 months ago | (#47333957)

Several companies already do what is mentioned in this article. http://www.sentryds.com/ [sentryds.com] would be an example of how this is already being done. http://www.businessweek.com/ad... [businessweek.com] (and the marketing swag).

Re:Hey Larry... your a little late to this party.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334219)

ssshh, we dont the big dummies buying them

100,000 lives a year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47333961)

So would banning abortion on demand... So what is his point?

Forgets Google Flu failures (0)

rumpledoll (716472) | about 4 months ago | (#47334023)

The 100,000 is a nonsense number pulled out of his posterior. I have a number just as good: 0. Larry Page forgets the wild miss of Google Flu these past years: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/... [nytimes.com]

Re:Forgets Google Flu failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334309)

No, Larry Page thinks money is alive. He wants to save those 100,000 dollars and keep them safe in his bank where they can give birth go more dollars. Help Larry Page save those dollars from the evil insurance companies.

Ah, the good ol' Slippery Slope ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334061)

How I do love thee!

A lot of things *are* like that, Larry. Sure, we let you datamine our medical records and things get a little better, in mostly unquantifiable, macro-medical ways. But how long before you want to start giving out that data to marketers?

How long before the insurance companies before the insurance companies start offering incentives to give up that information? Then how long before it's mandatory and there's no carrot, just stick?

Then, the government starts requiring it. Now, I'm not against government per se - I think it's a pretty good thing most days, except when they using my tax dollars to bomb brown people for oil or killing American citizens without a trial because ... well, I'm not sure why since you locked up those records.

Anyway, the slippery slope is there and we're getting better at spotting it, and you, Larry, are standing somewhere in the middle of it, trying to encourage us to come on up.

Not buying it this time.

If Only (1, Interesting)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 4 months ago | (#47334063)

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 to what or who's benefit? Oh, yeah - the nursing home takes all your accumulated wealth, your retirement, your house, then Your SS. And the healthier they keep you the longer they can stretch out the dying process, the more profit. The goal is to transfer all your money to them and not your family.

Do not for a minute think that the actuaries haven't figured out the moment your income to them exceeds their profit projection, Your bed could then be filled by someone who still has wealth they can tap into. After which you're just carrion.

The problem with saving those 100,000 lives is they won't be in the healthy productive years. So Larry, No thank you. There are some things worse than death. Living in a world where you don't even own your body anymore is one of those things

Not lives, insurance company profits (1, Informative)

doas777 (1138627) | about 4 months ago | (#47334121)

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: (1, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47334141)

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.

Re:Dear Larry Page: (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47334189)

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

Funny.

Re:Dear Larry Page: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334399)

Just an FYI, but a generic insult like "fuckhead" isn't exactly an ad-hominem. A true ad-hominem is personal in some way.

Re:Dear Larry Page: (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#47334421)

The actual definition comes from dismissing arguments on the basis of who's making them. That's not what happened here, but it's also not what happened when he was being a whiny baby that was looking for an excuse to ignore a perfectly valid argument.

Re:Dear Larry Page: (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47334659)

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

Fuck off, stalker.

Re:Dear Larry Page: (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 4 months ago | (#47334371)

Why not both at the same time?

Re:Dear Larry Page: (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47334669)

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

Actually I like the idea (2)

dixonpete (1267776) | about 4 months ago | (#47334169)

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.

Re:Actually I like the idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334535)

Computerised diagnosis may be incredibly useful in the near future. However, how about trying some simple ideas for fun and seeing how far they get...

1) Guarantee people healthcare.
2) Ban advertising for junk food shit aimed at kids.
3) Stop giant food corps sponsoring sporting events - guess what guys, you won't look like an Olympic athlete on coke & McDonalds.
4) Make jobs less stressful & wages slightly better so people aren't burning out so much.
5) Prosecute whorish TV doctors who tell viewers they can be super-healthy if only they buy XYZ Miracle Supplement.
6) Be honest with the public about how their celebrity role-models look so good (Drugs, Photoshop, Surgery etc.)
7) Make sure everybody, rich or poor, can afford healthy food (it needn't be expensive but often is).
8) Expose the nastiness of the food/agribusiness/big government's cosy relationships.
9) Stop stigmatising ill people because of their social status (or lack of). I find it amazing that when celebrities have (for example) Clinical depression it is seen as a terrible illness, but when some single-parent living in the hood has it people think she's making shit up for more welfare & is just lazy.
10) Develop cleaner energy technology so we're not all getting poisoned by a bunch of polluting Kochs.

No, instead we'll keep selling shit, keep polluting and then force everyone to have their entire fucking lives and bodily functions spied on 24-7 just so the same small bunch of cretinous corporations can continue to rake in the cash.

Will you walk into my parlour? (1)

modi123 (750470) | about 4 months ago | (#47334201)

.... 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]

Re:Will you walk into my parlour? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334549)

the concerns are overblown. In countries where there is public health care to speak of the police state will execute the law and citizens who abuse illicit substances. In countries where the national health service is just an utter failure (which one are those?) the action will follow the line: all your arse belong to us. In less civilized countries there is no concern at all - private health insurance becomes a tax only instead of roads getting built and some such, the chosen few will become rich like hell. Where is concern? concern were if we were debating a choice between alternatives and were trying to figure out what the outcomes of each choice would be. In reality we have little choice and the outcomes are relatively clear. You see - nothing to be afraid. Come - in this friendly chamber there are washing facilities so that your start in this camp as clean as possible, without flea, lice and other unpleasantries.

fine, put all personal data under HIPAA regs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334207)

to prevent disclosure to marketing assholes and other "profile" buliders.

Healthcare data secrecy (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 4 months ago | (#47334229)

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.

Re:Healthcare data secrecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334351)

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

Get off of our website, you fucking alcoholic.

Re:Healthcare data secrecy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334375)

Not everyone wants to share, dude. They don't trust the companies in charge of the information, they don't trust the government and they know there's always a possibility of mass data leaks. Plus medical confidentiality is one of the few important rights which pretty much every society adheres to.

More creepiness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334255)

I used to read 2000AD comic as a kid and they had a character called Robo Hunter. Anyways, he had a robot cigar that used to constantly nag him to give up smoking.

Fast forward to now and we're going to have people's phones nagging them about what they eat/drink/sleep with and all that info will be shoved into giant databases & sold to insurance companies. So Google will advertise junk food & other shit & then grass you up to the authorities if you buy too many of the crap they advertise. Meanwhile we're being encouraged to buy 'smart watches' which will helpfully transmit to the big corps our heart rate & how much exercise we do as well as other personal information (keep that watch on when you're having sex or jacking off & they'll know about that, too).

Holy fuck, the 21st century is depressing.

Re:More creepiness (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | about 4 months ago | (#47334439)

The idea of a back-talking robot cigar reminds me of this passage from Ubik:

Back in the kitchen he fished in his various pockets for a dime, and with it started up the coffeepot. Sniffing the—to him—very unusual smell, he again consulted his watch, saw that fifteen minutes had passed; he therefore vigorously strode to the apt door, turned the knob and pulled on the release bolt. The door refused to open. It said, “Five cents, please.”

He searched his pockets. No more coins; nothing. “I’ll pay you tomorrow,” he told the door. Again he tried the knob. Again it remained locked tight. “What I pay you,” he informed it, “is in the nature of a gratuity; I don’t have to pay you.”

“I think otherwise,” the door said. “Look in the purchase contract you signed when you bought this conapt.”

In his desk drawer he found the contract; since signing it he had found it necessary to refer to the document many times. Sure enough; payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted a mandatory fee. Not a tip.

“You discover I’m right,” the door said. It sounded smug.

From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless-steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt’s money-gulping door.

“I’ll sue you,” the door said as the first screw fell out.

Joe Chip said, “I’ve never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.”

-- Ubik [laphamsquarterly.org] by Philip K. Dick

no thanks google koolaid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334267)

in the end of it all just another several 100,000 pounds of junk n trash left over in landfills. maybe they can fix people's will to not care about this dying earth instead of engineering its collapse

Analyzing the data requires math... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334277)

and hard-core statistics which Republicans are incapable of understanding so expect them to block any sort of data analysis done to help people. They're just so stupid that they don't understand how this works. Of course, if they were smart, they wouldn't be a member of the racist, anti-science club in the first place. Page is again challenging stupidity, and again he will fail. The stupid people in this country rule us and just have too much power.

Continuum was right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334289)

The only question is who will play the role of Alec Sadler.

neat (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47334325)

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 in this regard. We've weighed pros and cons and we've said "No" So please go away now.

"Rectum" and "detonate on contact" (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | about 4 months ago | (#47334365)

"Rectum" and "detonate on contact" ... your answer may serve Justice -- but who will clean up the mess?

health.amazon.com (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | about 4 months ago | (#47334337)

"Customers who suffered this disease also purchased diagnostic tests for ..."

Re:health.amazon.com (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 4 months ago | (#47334443)

Wish I had mod points, although I'd have to decide between Funny and Insightful, it is both.

so basically, its a sham. (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 4 months ago | (#47334391)

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: make a dent in the 600,000 people who die yearly from coronary artery disease. youll also save countless others from cancer and stroke as exercise and diet play a crucial component in these health conditions as well.

Research yes, insurance and govt NO! (1)

JeffOwl (2858633) | about 4 months ago | (#47334433)

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.

Re:Research yes, insurance and govt NO! (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | about 4 months ago | (#47334663)

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.

The ends don't justify the means (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334445)

This is just one more example of Google's "ends justify the means" logic which only works if individual human beings have no value and therefore rights such as privacy aren't worth protecting. What is more, Google seems to be conveniently ignoring the fact that none of us were given a choice in having these so-called "benefits" foisted upon us. Are things like Street View "cool" or even useful? I think most people would agree that they are to an extent, but that is not the same thing as wishing for a world where Google spying on us is an unavoidable part of our daily lives. Mr. Page seems to have confused adoption with agreement.

The problem with Google isn't that they are "evil" in the malevolent sense. The problem is simply that they wield too much power over our lives with too little accountability. They lack the humility to recognize that just because they think something is good for the world doesn't make it so. Google seems to confuse "not being evil" with "having good intentions" and that lack of understanding makes them the most evil company of all. Perhaps the nine most frightening words in the English language in the new century (to borrow from Ronald Reagan) are: "I'm from Google and I'm here to help."

I'll take my chances (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 4 months ago | (#47334501)

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

and a requirement to carry a list of your meds.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334583)

the hight tech electronic record I find most efficient is the ...hand-written list of medications and allergies. lots of people still show up in doctors offices without this life-saving information.
Don't need a Google project to fix this.
In Malawi, every patient is required to hand carry a simple notebook (health passport) to each doctor visit. The doctor write one line about the visit. Presto. all tha p[atients essential medical info i sin one record.

Just tax the hell out of them (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | about 4 months ago | (#47334651)

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

Insurance companies will love this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47334687)

100,000 lives could be lost every year because they couldn't afford their new premiums.

Clueless. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#47334751)

"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 privacy issue has gone away - and people believe you because you have the bully pulpit and defenders of privacy don't.

Larry Page, the danger of good intentions (1)

LessThanObvious (3671949) | about 4 months ago | (#47334753)

When Google started, we trusted the company because they didn't have adds on the main search page. We supported them because they were the underdog and Yahoo was too commercialized. I believe Larry Page had good intentions. Then the inevitable need to drive revenue comes to the forefront and targeted advertising takes center stage. The goldmine of user information is harvested. Larry Page, I believe does not see the evil. The power that comes from from mass information collection will always be misused. Larry Page, maybe you actually want to save lives by mining health data, but truly those with a pure profit motive will misuse the information to the detriment of us all. In Google you helped create a monster. Now do the right thing and keep the monster out of our personal lives.
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