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Pandemic, panic and patient data: tech firms and the NHS in a time of crisis

In the Covid-19 context, private companies are getting unprecedented access to information held by the health service

By Kat Hall  

A person using the NHS app on a mobile phone Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

Big technology companies could use the coronavirus pandemic to gain a foothold in the UK’s health service, enquiries by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggest.

A number of companies could get unprecedented access to patient data, such as test results and NHS 111 calls, after winning deals with the NHS to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic. NHS X, the health service’s digital arm, insists that the access will be time-limited, subject to data protection rules and only for…

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