Deborah Peel, MD gives her view on technology in the healthcare marketplace.
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Host: What are your feelings concerning technology in the healthcare marketplace? Dr. Deborah Peel: Patient Privacy Rights is totally pro-health technology. We just think that the technology that we choose has to be technology that protects and strengthens our rights to control our health information. Host: What are some examples of smart technology that you've seen? Dr. Deborah Peel: Well, right now, there are two main components to smart technology. One is we think we need some sort of a health bank or a health trust where people can accumulate their own health information and know that it's safe and not date-mine. So we need technology that creates kind of a Fort Knox like security where we can put our records. The database is safe. Then the technology and the policies and the contracts of that trust or bank makes certain that only you can ever release your information to who you want to see it, that there is no data mining. Today, your and everyone's health information is in thousands of health databases around the world. We don't even know how many of there are. They are secret, we have no control. Today we have no place to safely keep health information. That's why we need that kind of enabling technology and firms are stepping up to the plate and they're building it. Microsoft's HealthVault is a good example of something that's very close to a health bank. They have security that's kind of like the CIA or the Department of Defense uses to protect its data. They have powerful privacy principles that are contractually and technically built into the system. They've agreed to follow. It's really a new bar for the health IT industry. They've agreed to follow 17 validatable principles that were developed by or bipartisan, coalition for patient privacy in 2007. Then, not only have they agreed publicly to follow these principles, but they're being audited by two external auditing firms, one American and one German. They're requiring all their application partners that offer PHRs, blood pressure monitoring, glucose monitoring, and things like that, to adhere to the same strong privacy principles. So, that would be a safe place to put data, but so far, there are almost no few personal health records that are safe, let me tell you why. They've been designed to evade all laws and medical ethics. They're being defined as not medical records, if you can believe that. They consist totally of your medical records. But they're being defined so that no laws and ethics cover them. So, it's very important. If you use a PHR, a personal health record to understand who's holding it and what they're doing with it. Most PHRs as a matter of fact are set up for data mining unlike the ones that are available to you say in HealthVault, they're set up for data mining. It's really sad, but actually the main way that technology, the business plan from many technology offerings like personal health records is to sell the data. I mean, it would be like asking your daughter to walk the street to pay for her wedding. It kind of defeats the purpose.