Royal Free London/DeepMind media coverage 16th May 2017

Over the past year the National Data Guardian (NDG) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have been looking into the data arrangements surrounding our 2015 agreement with DeepMind to develop and deploy the app.

Streams alerts clinicians to patients who are at risk of acute kidney injury, and doctors and nurses have told us that it’s already speeding up urgent care and saving nurses hours every day.

The ICO hasn’t yet completed its enquiries, but a letter written by the NDG to the Royal Free London in February, following her extensive investigation, was leaked to Sky.

We invited Sky cameras in to give balance to an article which we felt would have been solely negative without our voice. The story is now being picked up by more national media.

In her letter, the National Data Guardian was critical of how data was used during the testing phase of the app.

We were able to stress this point in our interviews along with making it clear that the letter refers to a particular moment in time and that the matter is still with the ICO who we expect to report their findings soon.

The NDG did not find any issues with the way Streams operates today, nor with the new agreements signed in November 2016 that govern our work today. They are clear that there needs to be better guidance about how trusts like ours use patient information during the development of new technology and we agree strongly with this.

Our app is currently in use on the wards at the Royal Free Hospital and improving outcomes for our patients.

You can see our media statement and more information about our work with DeepMind here

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Ian Lloyd
Head of external affairs and stakeholder engagement

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Free Hospital
Pond Street, London NW3 2QG

Tel: 020 7317 7740
Internal extension: 32293

Mobile: 07967 595 592