There have been a number of cases recently where patients’ personal medical data has been sold. If current regulation is under consideration for personal marketing data, then certain regulations should be drafted to protect our medical data. These should start by defining patient privacy rights with connected medical equipment. Regulations of this type would protect consumers from unknowingly granting permission to manufacturers and providers of connected patient devices to provide patients’ medical data to other companies. The following article reveals the present state of the industry and advocates for rigid protection of a person’s medical and wellness data.
Last year, an article published in The Economist declared that the world’s most valuable resource was no longer oil but data. The piece describes the emergence of a highly lucrative data economy and warns that new antitrust legislation might be needed for greater governance of data. Although many have criticised the comparison of data to oil, specifically surrounding the finite availability of oil as a resource compared with data, the core issue of a highly profitable and under-regulated data economy is real, especially in health care. The health-care data economy is booming with hundreds of start-up companies looking to supposedly fix health care through innovative data, data tools, and technology products. In addition to these legitimate businesses, there is an equally booming shadow economy driven by conventional wisdom that estimates the value of a medical record to be ten times the value of a credit card.