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At Mayo Clinic, sharing patient data with companies fuels AI innovation — and concerns about consent


Casey Ross

The patients of Mayo Clinic, whether they know it or not, have seeded a burgeoning digital health industry with their personal data. Details about their care, from disease diagnoses to digital tracings of their heartbeats, have been provided to companies for training artificial intelligence systems to detect dangerous arrhythmias, pregnancy complications, and deterioration in the hospital.

In the past two years, 16 companies have gained access to de-identified patient data through licensing deals that have widened Mayo’s revenue stream and generated crucial insights for health tech firms eager to commercialize digital products and services. Ethics experts worry, though, that patients’ interests are...

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