Thanks to Hospitals, Big Tech is Getting More and More of Your Medical Data

The picture above, and the following quote, come from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:

Hospitals have granted Microsoft Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. the ability to access identifiable patient information under deals to crunch millions of health records, the latest examples of hospitals’ growing influence in the data economy.

We can trust them with your data, right?

“Responsible data stewardship is core to our mission,” an IBM spokeswoman said.

Almost spit out my coffee on that line.

But let’s not forget the hospitals’ role in this:

Hospitals can share patient data as long as they follow federal privacy laws, which contain limited consumer protections, she said. “The data belongs to whoever has it.”

Yeah, but they are doing it for the greater good, right? Nope.

Hospitals also stand to gain financially from some deals. Tech companies’ agreements with Providence, Mayo, and Brigham and Women’s include intellectual property rights for hospital contributions to new products.

How has this NOT been stopped?

Data that can identify patients—including name and Social Security number—can’t be shared unless such records are needed for treatment, payment or hospital operations. Deals with tech companies to develop apps and algorithms can fall under these broad umbrellas. Hospitals aren’t required to notify patients of specific deals.

This is an abomination.

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