Walmart All In On Your Medical Records

Recently, Walmart has been in talks to acquire Humana. Now they were awarded a patent for a system that would store a person’s medical information in a blockchain database. “The patent, issued last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describes three key parts to the system: a wearable device in which the blockchain is stored; a biometric scanner for an individual’s biometric signature; and an RFID scanner to scan the wearable device, ideally a bracelet or wrist band.”

Who here feels like a commodity now? I sure do.

“According to the patent, first responders would scan the device to access an encrypted private key. They would decrypt that using the biometric identifier and, with a second public key, retrieve the victim’s records.”

Yeah, not so sure about that.  What a patent says and what it is eventually is used for can be two totally different things. Go back to the Humana possible acquisition.  How will this data be used to help Humana?  Do you want them to have and, maybe, sell your data?  Does blockchain make this data safer?   Will they be doing “price checks” on humans?

I am a little afraid of this information.  Are you?

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  8 comments for “Walmart All In On Your Medical Records

  1. Ellen Luse
    June 27, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    From a pharmacist’s viewpoint, there is an advantage in that patients that doctor shop will have interactions that will display via the computer programming. Did I dream that I saw this happen recently?

  2. CHRIS
    June 26, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Walmart recently began requiring physicians to put the diagnosis codes on the prescription for any chronically prescribed controlled substance. I send my patients to a different pharmacy now.

  3. John Parkin
    June 25, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Why worry ? Like most medical tech products, it likely will be more trouble than it is worth.

  4. RSW
    June 25, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Isn’t it about time for some patient’s rights group to bring a big lawsuit claiming that patients have the right to demand that their data not leave the physician’s office without their permission?

  5. Steve O'
    June 25, 2018 at 10:26 am

    They have left out the part about personal chipping of the herd animal patients. That and videotaping the health encounter. All this will be normal by 2020

  6. Michele Parker
    June 25, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Humana wantsto know how sick you are to plan actuarial premiums/risk for their own financial gain. Your privacy is lost. And we all know what crap can be on your list in the EMR with multiple “team members” changing things. I had an NP do a home visit on my patient (for capturing chronic care diagnoses of course) and label her with HIV instead of HSV because she takes valtrex. Really increased the RAF score.
    More scariness.

    • Steve O'
      June 25, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Wait until the health industry begins sequencing bacterial and viral subtypes, in order to produce a chronological transmission map. Once you ID the infectious agent, you can identify the human transmitters when they seek care.
      This works for identifiable clones of pathogens such as the STD’s like HIV. Maybe it’s happening now.
      Perhaps by neutralizing people with defective behavior that makes them frequent vectors for STD’s, we can cull them from the herd. It sounds nearly reasonable, if you don’t think too hard about it.

  7. June 25, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Interesting choice of words to describe a patient with the device: “victim”

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