The Week in Tech: NHS data deal breaks privacy laws
A panel of health and tech experts has found that clinicians are using apps such as Snapchat to send patient scans to each other, describing the activity as “clearly insecure, risky and non-auditable’. The report, commissioned by Google-owned DeepMind Health, concluded that “the digital revolution has largely bypassed the NHS”. In addition, the Information Commissioner’s Office found that London’s Royal Free Hospital handed over the personal data of 1.6 million patients to DeepMind Health for a new healthcare app, breaching the Data Protection Act in the process.
Britain has retained its position as Europe’s top technology investment hub, despite worries in the industry following last year’s Brexit vote, new research has found. The level of venture capital funding invested in UK tech companies (to the tune of £2.4bn) outranks Germany by more than double, and three times the amount invested in French firms. “The Brexit vote has understandably created some uncertainty but it is no surprise to see that London continues to attract more than double the amount of investment than any other European city” said Laura Citron, the chief executive of London & Partners, who conducted the research.
Data collected from this year’s London Tech Week has found that 92% of tech professionals think robots in the workplace is a good thing. In fact, some experts believe it will have a positive effect on the UK economy over the next five years, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s survey. SVB’s managing director, Tom Butterworth commented “The gift of time will allow people to be more creative and entrepreneurial. They’ll be able to shift their time and energy to business-critical activities such as developing new ideas, building relationships with potential partners and clients, which will help spur the UK economy forward.”
UK payments firm, Worldpay, has agreed a takeover deal worth over £9bn by its US rival Vantiv. Worldpay’s shares increased by up to 5% over the last couple of days as news of the takeover came to light. The preliminary agreement will value its shares at 385p, and the company will be run by seven directors from Vantiv and four from Worldpay, who said that they see “compelling strategic, commercial and financial rationale for combining Worldpay and Vantiv’s complementary businesses”.
There’s no doubt that the number of start-ups that can attribute venture capital to their success is high, but it doesn’t have to be a prerequisite, as TechCrunch has investigated. They’ve pulled together a list of 35 companies who started out with just a few thousand dollars and went on to earn billion-dollar valuations. Some of the brands featured include Mailchimp, Shopify and Shutterstock, with the key takeaway being ‘avoid designing your business around venture capital’ – accepting venture capital should be a choice, not a compulsion, TechCrunch argues.