Data-harvesting big tech wants the secrets of your heart

World

Data-harvesting big tech wants the secrets of your heart

The trillion-dollar question: who really owns the health data of millions of people?

Harry de Quetteville

Last week, at a conference in London, Dr Pearse Keane beamed an image on to the wall of an orange globe with a dark centre, encircled by red storms and a bright moon.

It looked like a dying planet in a distant galaxy. In fact, it was a beautifully detailed scan of the back of a human eye, as awesome in its own way as the night sky.

These days, Keane said, that single image betrays a lot of information. “We can now look at a retinal photograph and say: ‘This is a woman. She’s 58, she’s a nonsmoker. She’s not a diabetic, her BMI [body mass index] is around 25. And her blood pressure is 150 over 85. That’s pretty amazing.”..

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.