Personal Health Records (PHR) living in clouds like those being built by Google and Microsoft could revolutionize health care, Gartner Group says, so they're pitching policymakers to study the implications now.
The problem, Gartner says, is that the private clouds could disrupt local initiatives to collect and use PHRs.
Such a study (did we mention Gartner does studies for a living) should include the following questions:
- How do we maintain privacy and consumer control of their own data?
- What about competition with government programs?
- Would poor people be hurt if health records are in clouds only the middle class can access?
- What policies must be imposed on the secondary use of consumer health data?
Both Google and Microsoft are still in the pilot stage of both their PHR and cloud efforts. Amazon's remains the leading cloud out there -- Google and Microsoft are mainly using their clouds privately.
But who should pay for this study? Not the government -- we don't have the money. Not foundations funded by the owners of the companies involved -- that would be a conflict of interest.
You don't think Gartner could pick up the tab for this itself, do you?