What the Google Privacy Dashboard can mean for health

What the Google Privacy Dashboard can mean for health

Summary: What if you could find out where all your health data is? What if you could learn just which doctors, which hospitals, which insurers have what types of electronic data on you?

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If you have checked out the Google Privacy Dashboard, you may not have noticed that it covers all Google products.

This includes Google Health, the company's Personal Health Record (PHR).

The media focus here has been on what Google knows about you, and the oh noes that Google will use that data against you.

But with the Dashboard's access to Google Health, it occurs there might be another use for it.

What if you could find out where all your health data is? What if you could learn just which doctors, which hospitals, which insurers have what types of electronic data on you?

Knowing what's out there, and knowing the rules for releasing that data, you can have full control of your privacy as we move from paper records to electronic records.

Given the trend within health IT toward more open standards, and more standards generally, it should not be too hard to provide support for this capability within, say, the NHIN-Connect system, which the Administration now calls the Health Internet.

There are lots of ways for this to go down, but the most efficient might be for the Health Internet to support a spidering technology that lets service providers offer a full health dashboard to consumers. Where within the NHIN system are what types of data on you. Not the specific data, but who has stuff, which is information we should all be entitled to.

I'll bet that would be an incredibly valuable service, because it's something we don't have right now. The availability of such a service might even drive consumer acceptance of the Health Internet itself.

Take my case, for instance. In addition to my regular doctor, I have an eye doctor, I've seen an orthopedist, I have an insurance company, and a guy who did my colonoscopy. I also have a pharmacist. All that data, in time, is supposed to feed my Personal Health Record, along with data I might create, like my workout data.

Knowing who has what puts me in charge. Computers can tell me that. This encourages me to embrace computers, and powers the movement toward PHRs.

Did I mention Google Health is a PHR?

Topics: Google, CXO, Health, Legal, IT Employment

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8 comments
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  • I'm with the "Oh noes".

    Giving an advertising company access to all my health data just so I can find out if someone like, say, an advertising company has access to it, strikes me as a bit of on own goal.
    njoho
  • Trust Google with more data?

    Google already has
    - my IP address
    - my web searches
    - my email
    - my call history
    - my voicemail

    I'm looking forward to voluntarily disclosing my medical history so that they can ignore all HIPAA regulations.

    They crossed the line when they acquired DoubleClick. Microsoft 1998 looks tame compared to this.

    At what point do we have to start running our own email servers and using Tor 24/7?

    [/Orwellian rant]
    sarahm300
    • Log off the Inet n/t

      .
      n0neXn0ne
  • RE: What the Google Privacy Dashboard can mean for health

    The only things that concerns me, and maybe you can alleviate my concerns, is that in the agreement they make you agree to (I just read it) it says they are not restricted under HIPPA. Is that because their agreement is stronger or weaker than HIPPA?
    arpitman
  • RE: What the Google Privacy Dashboard can mean for health

    I am not sure I followed. There is very little private health information available to Google other than your PHRs etc. Most hospitals and healtcare providers never release your health data to anyone other than the patient. So, how could Google access the data? Maybe I am missing something.

    I am convinced that I need a PHR after reading this article - http://phrreviews.com/why-do-i-need-a-phr
    And it would be good if google can pull all my health info, but how?
    shortanswer
  • RE: What the Google Privacy Dashboard can mean for health

    Much of that information on your health is already available to you in what is known as you MIB Record (Medical Information Bureau). Here is a link to the specific information including how to get your own free copy of the record once a year. CLICK the Insurance Record tab to see the information.

    https://www.mymedlab.com/privacy


    davidclymer
  • RE: What the Google Privacy Dashboard can mean for health

    If it is protected by some convenient and secure identity verification such as Umikey, I'll use it.

    Too much waste in the paper work already, I'd rather sacrifice a bit privacy to save my healthcare costs.
    Steve H. T.
  • Not much of value

    Hm, hm, if one has enough of Alzheimer?s to forget the health
    institutions one visited (and hopefully kept safe at home a
    hard-copy of the results) will such a software be of any real help?
    The only way to obtain someother?s (confidential) paper medical
    records, or electronic ones kept of-line, is to physically break into
    the institution building and steal or copy them (or con or bribe an
    employee) - something not so easy to do and usually
    uneconomic for a snooper. On the other side, no password
    protection system will hold against a relatively good hacker,
    meaning that Your on-line medical data are there for the viewing
    for anyone with a keen interest and moderate resources. Even if it
    were really impossible to access the data themselves for anyone
    without legal approval (utopian notion), a mere public search
    engine list of sites where Your medical data are stored IS a
    medical record in itself and should be confidential since it can be
    misused. An example: an insurance company may wonder what it
    is You had done at a specialist?s premises and deny You a policy.
    darije.djokic@...