Lawmakers revisit Project Nightingale, demanding more info from Ascension, Google

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators are probing Google and St. Louis-based Ascension again for more information on the controversial "Project Nightingale," according to The Wall Street Journal.

Last November, after news broke about Project Nightingale, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Bill Cassidy and Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to Google and Ascension asking for details on the program, including how many patients are involved, what data is shared and who at Google had access.

While Google Health chief David Feinberg, MD, responded by saying the company is proud of its work with Ascension, the senators were not impressed.

"Though Google began its response by telling us that the company was 'proud to provide more details on Google's work supporting Ascension,' the response ultimately did not provide us with all of the information we asked for," the senators wrote in a March 2 letter to Ascension, reports WSJ.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment to WSJ. Nike Ragone, a spokesperson for Ascension said that the health system has "met with numerous elected officials and staff over the past few months on our collaboration with Google," about "the work we're doing to transform the clinician experience and to improve patient outcomes."

In its latest push, the senators are still seeking answers on whether patients were informed that their information was being shared with Google, a complete list of the data shared, what services Google has promised to provide Ascension, and if any data has been breached.

Under Project Nightingale, Ascension has agreed to share data on millions of patients with Google, who will then use the data to create an optimized search engine for the health system's EHR.

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