Google is pulling the plug on Streams, the clinical app developed by DeepMind, following health division shutdown

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Google is pulling the plug on Streams, the clinical app developed by DeepMind, following health division shutdown
The move comes shortly after Google began dismantling its health division Google DeepMind
  • Google will take its clinical app Streams offline, following the shutdown of its health division.
  • The tech giant took control of the app after absorbing AI firm DeepMind's own health team in 2019.
  • Streams entered the spotlight in 2016, when it was revealed to have unlawful access to patient data.

Google is shutting down Streams, a mobile app designed to help clinicians track patients' conditions, two years after acquiring it from portfolio firm DeepMind.

The decision to take Streams offline marks the tech giant's latest letdown in a streak of high-profile disappointments. Last week, Insider exclusively revealed the company was dismantling its embattled health division after struggling to hammer out a roadmap for the group, and letting major deals fizzle out along the way.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch it would soon be decommissioning the app, which it took control of when it absorbed DeepMind's own health team in 2019. The app has been in use at a number of the UK's best-known National Health Service hospitals for the past five years, but faced criticism from those wary of Big Tech hoovering up patient data.

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Three years before Google took control of Streams away from DeepMind, a New Scientist investigation revealed that the app had extensive access to 1.6 million patients' data as part of an arrangement with London's Royal Free Hospital.

The UK data regulator ruled that the deal was unlawful, triggering public outcry over worries that a US tech giant might gain access to confidential patient data for profit.

The decision to shut down Streams comes just months after Google pulled the plug on Loon, the spin out that hoped to make broadband more accessible using solar-powered balloons, and the shutdown of other moonshot projects, including power-generating kite firm Makani and fuel alternative Project Foghorn.

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Insider approached Google for comment.

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