Who Owns Your Health Data?

By 2020, data scientists say that we will be creating 50 times as much health data as we are in 2015. It’s not just images and treatments that are being stored but our vital signs and DNA. Mobile apps, wearables, and medical devices are all interconnected (though obviously not completely interoperable).

“In the not-too-distant future, our lives will depend upon how our health information is accessed and used,” said former HHS HIT coordinator David J. Brailer. “This brave new digital world has one huge risk: You don’t own your health information.”

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal,  Brailer argued that Congress should update health policy and privacy laws with four underlying principles:

1. Patient-centered data:

People should have complete ownership of data related to their own health. Interoperability should allow every American patient to access their records at any time, without the need to wait or jump through any hoops. Records should be accessible anywhere, unless patients want to opt out.

2. Infomediary rights:

It should be possible for US citizens to name a third party to manage their data, if they so desire. Brailer calls this third-party an infomediary. This role could potentially be played by a family member, doctor, insurance carrier, drugstore, or even a cloud provider (his suggestion, not ours).

3. All-inclusive security:

Security mechanisms should be omnipresent in healthcare systems. The “medical Internet” must be cohesively secure in order to safeguard the dataflow between patients, doctors, and other appropriate parties.

4. Level playing field:

All companies that come into contact with protected health information should bear the same level of responsibility to protect it.

Brailer concluded, “The gold rush is on. Someone is going to benefit from the immeasurable wealth created from your health information and its capacity to extend and improve lives. It might as well be you.”

While Brailer’s arguments are compelling and deserve consideration, he’s talking about federal policy. Patients and doctors want interoperability to be prioritized now, so they turn to the world’s only healthcare-exclusive cloud

Patient Access and Control

Four out of every five patients say that they want to own and control their healthcare data. About that same amount, 79%, say they want the option for digital access.

Are you optimizing patient engagement? The world’s only healthcare-exclusive cloud connects you with your patients in a rigorously designed, HIPAA-compliant setting.

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