A HIMSS Event | SANTA CLARA, CA | SEPT. 16-18, 2019

San Francisco, CA
September 16-18, 2019 | Santa Clara, CA

How Health Tech Can Tackle Data & Privacy Issues

By Heather Munro, freelance writer focusing on emerging technology. 

When adopting new health tech solutions, the healthcare industry is facing a unique dilemma: How to share vital information for improving the quality of care while protecting consumers from having their personal health data shared inappropriately. 

Back in 1996, when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was introduced, it was key legislation for protecting consumers’ medical privacy. Twenty-three years later, the amount of health data being generated has grown substantially and offers exciting opportunities for transforming healthcare.

Data from personal apps that track fitness, weight-loss, depression, smoking and pregnancy, as well as DNA testing kits could provide researchers with the information needed to discover medical breakthroughs and new treatments.

In addition, access to this kind of data could give clinicians a fuller picture of each patient’s health, thereby improving the quality of care. 

“The patient only spends five to ten minutes seeing the doctor but the immediate three to four months before seeing the doctor – that whole trend of information is very critical to how we can manage and improve one’s health comes from that data,” Dr. Phillip Wong told MobiHealthNews at the Smarthealth Summit last June.

But this kind of information could also be used by advertisers to target patients or life insurance companies to deny coverage. And therein lies the rub.

Emerging health tech will have to address the competing interests of data sharing and consumer privacy, especially as the industry works towards a centralized healthcare database and legislation is being introduced to address consumer’s concerns.

How will changing U.S. data privacy laws affect health tech? How can startups give consumers the convenience they have in other parts of their lives while protecting their personal health data rights? How will data management strategies evolve to become more patient-centric?


Health Data Goldilocks Dilemma: Sharing? Privacy? Both?
Join us to hear how policy makers are addressing health data privacy risks, and the impact this is having on business models.

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