Data mining is something Google loves to do, but the company is finding it very difficult to mine healthcare data. This mainly due to society believing the search company already knows too much, and knowing about the personal health situations of every individual in the United States is viewed as going too far.
However, Larry Page, the CEO of Google, believes that if the search company is able to mine healthcare data, over 100,000 lives can be saved. Whether this is true or just a ploy to get folks to give in to healthcare data mining is still left to be seen.
"For me, I'm so excited about the possibilities to improve things for people, my worry would be the opposite," Page said in an interview with the New York Times. "We get so worried about these things that we don't get the benefits."
Page went on to state that regulations that allow the mining and analyzing of healthcare data is making things difficult, even if the data is analyzed secretly.
It is clear that Google is moving slowly to make this a reality, and we see no reason why the company wouldn't get its way in the long term.
"Right now we don't data mine healthcare data. If we did we'd probably save 100,000 lives next year," Page added.
Page also believes that in society, people shouldn't view new technologies as having a negative impact on lives. He further went on to add that once folks get a taste of new technologies, they tend to want more, and might even reach a point where they cannot live without it.
He made an example out of Google Streetview for Google Maps.
Making this a possibility would take years of educating the public and making it clear that gathered healthcare data will be safe from those who might want to do harm. However, with the recent NSA debacle and several successful hack attacks over the past year, Google would have to do increase security measures.
Privacy is the main concern here, and it is not certain how many people are willing to give that up in favor of saving 100,000 lives per year.