Healthcare professionals at St Mary’s Hospital to have secure view of real-time test results via mobile devices

Healthcare professionals at St Mary’s Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, will soon have secure access to their patients’ latest test results from their mobile devices via the Streams app. This is the latest way the Trust is using advances in digital technology to provide better care. 

With real-time, mobile access to test results (such as laboratory and radiology results), clinicians will be able to make faster decisions, without having to leave their patients to log into a computer. The time saved will allow clinicians to have a greater focus on direct patient care. 

The company who provide the Streams app, DeepMind, will begin processing current patients’ test results on January 21. The general surgery team at St Mary’s Hospital will be the first in the Trust to begin using the Streams app. Soon after, the secure app will be rolled out so that healthcare professionals across all five of the Trust’s hospitals will be able to access their patients’ latest test results on the move. 

Dr Sanjay Gautama, Caldicott Guardian, Chief Clinical Information Officer and Consultant Anaesthetist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: 

“As one of the NHS’s global digital exemplars, we are proud to be leading the way in using advances in digital technology to make tangible improvements to the care of our patients. We have already implemented a single electronic patient record system, which allows relevant staff to access patients’ test results securely via a computer, and now, thanks to Streams, our healthcare professionals will be able to access the same results securely from a mobile device. 

“As a doctor, I want to spend the majority of my time at work directly with my patients. Having these basic test results to hand at the press of a button will help keep my administrative tasks to a minimum so I can better concentrate my efforts on caring for my patients. I look forward to continuing to work with the Streams team in London to make using the app a normal part of clinical practice at all of our hospitals.” 

It was announced in November 2018 that the Streams app and the team behind it will be leaving DeepMind and moving to Google’s new health unit so that it can grow and improve the service it provides. The Trust’s contract for the provision of the Streams app remains with DeepMind currently, and there will be a full review of any impacts of the move to Google before the contract is transferred.  

Notes to editors 
1. Under our agreement, DeepMind processes the Trust’s patient data under the instruction of the Trust so that it can be viewed via the Streams app. The data cannot be accessed or used by DeepMind for any purposes other than to provide the Streams app to the Trust. 

2. All access to patient data is logged and strictly governed by the Trust. Data is stored to high standards of security and encryption in England, separated at all times from any other systems. Patient data is and will remain controlled by the Trust, with access to it and its use strictly controlled. 

3. This app does not currently use artificial intelligence (AI) technology. However, there is a growing body of evidence to support the use of AI to assist clinicians in caring for patients and the Trust is looking how it can develop in this area in line with NHS and other best practice. 

4. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust announced its partnership with DeepMind in December 2016. Find out more about how we are using technology to give more time for patient care.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are we ensuring that patient information is secure? The Streams app has been designed and built to high security standards and both the Trust and DeepMind take data security extremely seriously. The data used to provide Streams is stored in an accredited data centre in England and all access is restricted, logged and strictly governed. The data is encrypted, which means it is converted into a code that cannot be read without a specific 'key', both while it is stored and when it is in transit. 

The security of the app has passed all NHS audit and review processes. Only registered healthcare professionals who have been enrolled by the Trust will be able to log into the Streams app, and they will have to go through two levels of security checks. No bank or agency staff will have access to the app. 

Will patient data be sold? No. Information is being processed by DeepMind for the purpose of providing the Streams app to the Trust. The Trust remains the data controller at all times. 

Does DeepMind have access to patient information? DeepMind processes the data so that it can be viewed via the Streams app. This happens under the strict control of the Trust. The data cannot be accessed or used by DeepMind for any purpose other than to provide the Streams app to the Trust, as specified in our agreement. Data is stored to high standards of security and encryption and is separated at all times from any other systems.

What is the relationship between DeepMind and Google? DeepMind was founded in London in 2010. The company was acquired by Google in 2014, but remains operationally independent. It was announced in November 2018 that the Streams app and the team behind it will be joining Google’s new health unit. This will allow Streams to grow and improve the service it provides. Streams is being rolled out under the Trust’s existing contractual agreement with DeepMind, and the contract will not move across to Google without the Trust’s consent. There will be a full review of any impacts of the move to Google before the contract is transferred.  

Will Google have access to patient information? Not under our current contractual agreement with DeepMind. All patient data is, and will, remain controlled by the Trust and cannot be accessed or used for any purpose other than to provide the Streams app to the Trust, as specified in our agreement. 

Can patients opt out of having their information available on this app? We want to ensure all our patients receive the very best and safest care we can provide. For this reason, patients cannot opt out, as doing so would affect our ability to give them the best possible care. This is the same situation as when a patient asks not to have a paper or electronic medical record.