UK prepared to share data with NHS, but not pharma, AI projects

More than half of the UK’s population is prepared to share personal data with the NHS to help with Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects – but not pharma companies, according to a report.

The survey of 2,000 Britons by KPMG showed that 51% of people polled are worried about data privacy, and a majority said they are unwilling to share personal data with UK organisations for AI purposes.

However, there was one exception as 56% said they would be happy to share personal data with the NHS if it led to better services.

But only 15% of those surveyed said they would be prepared to share personal data with pharma companies.

Only 11% said they would share personal data with media companies, 8% said they would share data with internet companies, and 7% said they would share the data with political organisations.

The NHS also scored ahead of other organisations – 47% of those surveyed are willing to share data for AI projects with banks, for the police the figure is 33%, and for the government the figure is 22%.

In the survey 53% of people said they believe artificial intelligence will have a positive impact on the NHS, while 10% said it would be negative.

The steps most likely to motivate people to share their personal data with the NHS were to improve the quality of diagnosis and if the NHS took steps to ensure data is kept safe and secure. 54% of people think the potential benefits of giving their personal data to the NHS outweigh the potential risks, while 9% disagree.

Authors of the report, “How the UK can win the AI race” made a series of recommendations – these include a national debate on the realities of AI, formalising data regulation systems for AI, and a ‘British Standard of Trust’ kitemark for AI and data security.

The report also recommended creating “Data Innovation Zones” where developers are given access to anonymised health data, and addressing the AI skills gap by improved education in schools, and a culture of life-long learning and greater recognition for subjects beyond STEM.

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