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Independent Reviewers release first annual report on DeepMind Health


Mustafa Suleyman, Dominic King

Today, a panel of Independent Reviewers has published its first annual report into DeepMind Health. As I wrote in the foreword to their report (written, I add, before I’d read it): “We chose people who had specific expertise but also reputations for integrity, who did not hold back, who could be angry and critical... That’s good for us and makes us better.”

The panel is made up of experts in their fields who were given full access to our work to carry out their review - a very unusual process for a tech company, but one that we hope will significantly increase scrutiny of our work and ultimately help us get it right. We are grateful for their and honesty, thoughtfulness, and the time they have spent on this complex task. You can read their full report here.

As a result of this process, DeepMind Health has committed to a series of changes to our work and practices to try to set higher standards in our second year. We know we need to work harder to be responsive and accountable to the needs of a far greater cross-section of medicine and society. This includes significantly improving our work with patients and the public, and continuing on the path of greater engagement with Royal Colleges, professional bodies and many other groups in the NHS community. You can read what we’ve committed to change here.

We’re also excited to be working with Paul Buchanan as our Patient and Public Lead, helping us build on the patient engagement work begun by the brilliant Rosamund Snow. Paul is a well-known patient advocate and recently served as the BMJ Patient Editor. He’ll bring the voices of patients into the heart of our work, and we’re looking forward to learning from patients and collaborating with them more in future.

This has already been a week of listening and learning. We also wrote yesterday about the Information Commissioner’s resolution of her investigation into the Royal Free London NHS Trust and its first partnership with DeepMind Health, and the lessons we’ve learned.

I commit to continuing to invite people of integrity to challenge and give feedback on our work. We’re privileged to be working on technology that genuinely matters to patients, clinicians and the wider public. We know that scrutiny can only make our work better and we’re grateful to everyone who has taken time to tell us what we’re getting right, and what we’re getting wrong. Please don’t hold back, and please get in touch with any feedback you have on how we can do things differently.