Is Patient Privacy Just an Illusion?

Government Healthcare IT interviewed Dr. Deborah Peel, the leader of Patient Privacy Rights.

In the podcast she says that Microsoft’s HealthVault concept, which would allow a consumer control over their health information, is better than the data mining approach that others have recommended.  HealthVault also has external auditors to ensure privacy.

It’s certainly worth a listen for those that are closely following patient privacy.

We are very interested in how this HealthVault concept will play out in the expanding Health 2.0 environment.  It certainly seems to empower people to have full control over their healthcare information, but we are a little skeptical that such a system should be controlled by one company.

We can hear it now, “That’s Dr. Microsoft to you.”

Microsoft promises, “We do not use your health information for commercial purposes unless we ask and you clearly tell us we may.”  So, is there some thought of allowing patients to integrate their applicable health information with providers of their choice?  It reminds me a little of Facebook opening its API to service providers and the issues with privacy that are occurring there.  Of course, HealthVault would supposedly be more secure.

One of the main drawbacks of HealthVault in our mind is that it requires the patient to actively keep up with all of their records and enter them into the system. We wonder how many patients will have the patience (sorry couldn’t help myself) to do this?

We will continue to monitor this concept since it shows great promise.

via John Sharp at eHealth

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Comments (1)

Speaking of data mining, the AMA is opposed to this because it is a large source of income for that association from selling prescribing data to pharma companies. Yet this information should not be accessible to pharma reps because it disrupts the treatment regimens of patients by clouding the judgement of the prescribers they see.

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