Do You Want All of Your Healthcare Data in One Place?
In the age of the internet and ever advancing technology, it is understood that much of our information can and will be online, whether it is a physician’s local network or a “cloud” storage system. However, what are the implications of having all of our healthcare data in one online place? We will discuss these implications and how they relate to medical malpractice, a subject initially brought up by The Daily Beast article about the introduction of “Google Fit,” a soon-to-be massive health data center.
Google Fit aims to consolidate and unify the data from every health tracker. If Google Fit is successful in this, it will become the largest warehouse of consumer health data in the world.
Larry Page is quoted as saying, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone’s medical records were available anonymously to research doctors? And when someone accesses your medical record, a research doctor, they could see, you could see which doctor accessed it and why, and you could maybe learn about what conditions you have. I think if we just did that, we’d save 100,000 lives this year.”
While Page is pursuing altruistic motives, it may not be in the best interests of healthcare patients. The recent “heartbleed” virus epidemic offered a sobering reality on how valuable stealing information has become in our world.
John Wilbanks of Sage Bionetworks, speaking about a study that re-identified anonymous donors in a DNA dataset, stated, “We have been pretending that by removing enough information from databases that we can make people anonymous. We have been promising privacy, and this paper demonstrates that for a certain percent of the population, those promises are empty.”
The specter of our medical history being released to anyone with the knowhow to access it is a frightening one. What is to stop individuals from selling our information to the highest bidder, who then offers us medical services that are not up to par? Or further, what if the individual that is offering us the services is not properly licensed?
The potential for medical malpractice and fraud loom ominously over a system that houses all of our healthcare information, and it is going to fall partially on us to be more careful with how we volunteer our information.
If you are concerned that you have received negligent or subpar treatment from a healthcare employee or that they might not have been properly licensed, feel free to contact us so that we can explain what options you have for making sure this does not happen again – to anyone.
Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area