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Google's Bosworth on Health Care  (View post)

Seth Finkelstein [PersonRank 10]

Friday, January 12, 2007
13 years ago4,052 views

This is very reasonable in theory, but very naive in practice.

The US health care system is an extremely territorial fiefdom-like system, with a lot of administrative inefficiency. It's bad, it's wasteful, it's wrong. But it persists because the people who run the fiefdoms have a lot of power, and vigorously oppose anything which would reduce the power of their fiefdom.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

That's far from new. There was a Google Blog post that included a link to the speech in December. ...

Katinka Hesselink [PersonRank 2]

13 years ago #

The whole privacy issue is completely ignored in this plan. I don't know how it is internationally, but in The Netherlands medical information is supposed to be rigorously protected – because people have a right to keep their health information private. Hospitals and doctors can be held liable if they don't keep their patients confidentiality. This even prevents doctors from e-mailing each other information.

This is obviously important in the cases of diseases like depression, burn out, HIV etc.

I agree with Seth: this plan is hopelessly naive.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I think the privacy issues are comparable to those of email clients, for example, and people happily use Gmail. Emails may contain:
- user names & passwords
- people talking about their diseases
- bank account details
- a list of newsletters and websites one is subscribed to
- a detailed list of friends and things you discuss with them
- love letters
- contracts, agreements, business communication
- etc.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I guess only the web page transcript is new, Ionut.

mc [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

But email privacy isnt covered by strict privacy laws, unlike health care information in many countires

Kung [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Dutch people can keep a medical online file :

Here's an exampole file : ...

Joe Andrieu [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

The primary need in the realm of medical information, is quality health and health services... the secrecy is a solution to a constraint, not a requirement of the underlying need.

People are working on ways to address this need for opening the data silos while maintaining user control and privacy. Check out the VRM project for one:

Rahul Roy-Chowdhury [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

As previous posters have noted, moving medical information/records online requires bullet-proof security assurances. Given the ID theft issues that seem to be getting worse every month, I don't see this happening any time soon. In fact, I think privacy concerns may well be in inhibitor to adoption of other google products: e.g. Docs and Spreadsheets. GPrivacy anyone?

Zoo [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

This is such a great idea. It really doesn't need to be even online. How about a plastic card or a key tag (like the ones you get from kroger) that contains all your information so that you or the doctor can view it from a computer.

N8 [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I would think a wiki on your own personal USB port would work. You carry it on your key chain or wherever and security could be worked out by emergency rooms having some sort of override if you desired and your primary would have the passkey to add and read data submitted. Once your lab results are released, you login down load and send to your Dr's office in a similar manner or sign up for the direct method between labs, Dr, etc. I dunno, just thinkin'

N8 [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I'm a bit perplexed by the privacy concerns. Especially when people have no issues with giving someone they do not know (waiter in a restaurant) their credit card for a few minutes and out of their site, but they are afraid to vote on a machine or digitize their health records?

Charles Jones [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

People with multiple doctors or medical conditions need to have the option of being the central clearinghouse for all their medical data. This kind of control would facilitate patients' pro-active engagment in their own treatments, and it would serve as a verification of some of the information.

Privacy concerns are extremely important, however most of us have little knowledge of how many people now have access to our medical information (especially eimployees of self-insured employers). Making the patient the clearinghouse would be an opportunity to more clearly define access rights.

Google should push this idea, but Google must also create a squeaky clean reputation for security and privacy. That means, for example, no ads selling drugs for one of the user's medical ailments.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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