GP app praised by health sec admits patients' consultations leaked to other users

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Babylon Health, the app which allows patients to make private video appointments with GPs, has confirmed that recordings of consultations were accidentally leaked to other users.

The app was controversially praised by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in 2018, although the Department for Health denied he had endorsed it in breach of the ministerial code.

Mr Hancock described Babylon Health as "revolutionary" and said it was one of the healthcare apps on his own smartphone during an interview sponsored by the company.

 Health Secretary Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street on April 9, 2020 in London, England. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was transferred to the intensive care unit at St Thomas' Hospital after his coronavirus symptoms worsened on Monday night. There have been more than 60,000 reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United Kingdom and 7,000 deaths. The country is in its third week of lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. (Photo by Peter

Image: Matt Hancock had controversially praised the app

Babylon Health has more than two million users in the UK, and allows them to conduct private video consultations with clinicians and even send prescriptions to a local pharmacy.

But one of its users, Rory Glover, discovered he had been given access to roughly 50 other patients' consultations in the app and alerted the company to the leak on Twitter.

The company confirmed Mr Glover's issue and said that two other users had also been given access to recordings of other patients' consultations - although it said these videos were not viewed.

"We identified and resolved [the] issue within two hours," the company said, adding that it was due to "a software error rather than a malicious attack".

"Of course we take any security issue, however small, very seriously and have contacted the patients affected to update, apologise to and support where required," the company said.

The UK's data privacy watchdog has been informed of the incident, which Babylon said only affected users in the UK.

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