Who owns your healthcare data ? (FT)

Who owns your healthcare data ? (FT)

  • Mobile apps that track your health or wellness collect information on you regarding blood sugar levels, fitness information and in some cases pass basic data on you to your doctor.
  • In many countries personal healthcare data is, quite understandably, subject to strict regulations. In the US this includes the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
  • But these rules often only cover entities such as healthcare plan providers or those who cover healthcare claims. There are no restrictions on app services, nor for online sites such as WebMD or KidsHealth.

Analysis & Comments

  • It may not seem to be a problem that your fitbit (other brands are available)is collecting data on you and potentially selling it on – until the consumer finds that this data was combined with other information to “profile marketing material” for you.
  • At the more extreme level the article makes the point that mobile dating appGrindr shared information regarding users HIV status with other companies.
  • The issue for us is not so much about is this right or not – its more that the absence of coherent rules on who owns healthcare data is likely to be a big barrier to the take up of digital healthcare services, especially in Europe.
  • This is particularly the case where the customer is a public healthcare entity.

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