Larry Page health
Google co-founder Larry Page said at a recent TED event that sharing anonymised medical records could save 100,000 lives.Reuters

Google co-founder Larry Page claims that making medical records available to researchers could save 100,000 lives this year alone.

Page was speaking with US television host Charlie Rose in a rare public appearance at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference in Vancouver.

Almost 15 years ago Page was diagnosed with left vocal cord paralysis following a bad cold, a condition that has left him with a permanently hoarse voice. It has led him to establish research programmes and look to other methods to better improve health issues such as his.

"In this journey I have learned a lot more about voice issues," Page wrote in a blogpost on the subject last year. "Though my condition seems to be very rare, there are a significant number of people who develop (similar) issues."

An idea was subsequently put to him by Google co-founder Sergey Brin to share anonymised medical records with researchers.

"It could save 100,000 lives this year," Page said on stage this week in Vancouver. "I was scared to share but Sergey encouraged me and we got thousands of people with similar conditions."


Google's data gathering has recently come under criticism from privacy advocates after it was revealed that the tech giant was scanning and indexing the emails of students through its educational apps.

Such data mining was defended by Page, who claimed people were at risk of "throwing the baby out with the bath water".

"We are not thinking about the tremendous good that can come with sharing information with the right people in the right ways," he said.