Is Your Data Safe? How About Your Privacy?

February 23, 2016

The data dilemma is that as data becomes more and more important, patients are less willing to share it because of privacy and security concerns.

Confluent events are forcing sick care providers to come to grips with cybersecurity, terrorism, and privacy:

1. Data is increasingly important to manage patients and cut costs. (Intermountain Health Systems)

2. Health data is not secure and almost every day we read or hear about another hack.

3. Cyberterrorists see lack health information security as a business opportunity demanding ransoms to release hacked systems.

4. Law enforcement and national security agencies want to use every available means to monitor and fight terrorism. (Apple and San Bernardino)

5. Interoperability will create even greater data security challenges.

Where does this leave the patient and the information they share, knowingly or unknowingly, directly and via Internet of Things devices? For the moment, no-man's land. The data dilemma is that as data becomes more and more important, patients are less willing to share it because of privacy and security concerns. “Protect but share” sound like a great saying, but it’s hard to accomplish and will get even more difficult as the expanding data universe creates shock waves.

The good news about all this is that it might be a solution to the problem of doctors not having enough time to spend with patients because they are burdened with entering all that information into a computer. The less you tell me, the more time I can spend listening. Quite a paradox indeed.