Forget Medical Privacy?

September 29, 2009

On the blog for PatientsLikeMe is a brief comment about a provocative statement by Wired Magazine to “Forget Medical Privacy.” Wired published this as part of their “12 Shocking Ideas That Will Change the World.”  PatientsLikeMe which is the only Health 2.0 site I know of that values openness and has an openness policy believing that it will contribute to health care instead of holding privacy so tightly that it inhibits the ability to use valuable clinical data. A video on the blog post addresses the question of openness directly: “Given my status, what is the best outcome I can achieve and how do I get there?”
From Wired: “And that lack of openness, Heywood argues, is making us sicker: With
data scarce, there’s no clear way for physicians to know what
treatments are working for other practitioners.”  In fact, hospitals are allowed to use data from the Electronic Medical Record with the approval of their Institutional Review Board.
At the Medicine 2.0 Congress, a award winning presentation by PatientsLikeMe demonstrated how they can utilize data shared by patients to quickly address drug side effects and other commonly shared problems. A combination of using existing data, such as, from an EMR and patient shared data, such as, from social networking sites, can certainly accelerate medical research while not totally abandoning privacy.

Technorati: Health 2.0

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