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- Journal of Medical Internet Research - International Scientific Journal for Medical Research, Information and Communication on the Internet.
- Last week, Ontario's Liberal Government announced plans to consider monetizing the data stored by eHealth Ontario. In an open letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne's.
- 1 Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network, Toronto ON, Canada 2 Department of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto.
Is Selling Your Health Data The Liberals' Budget- Balancing Plan? Health Minister Eric Hoskins. As anyone who has bought a computer knows, the hardware, servers, Internet lines, etc. That stuff isn't going to bring in any money. What has a lot of value, however, is patient data.
Imagine having a repository of personal health data at your fingertips. Being able to analyze which areas have, for example, a high rate of depression would give pharmaceutical companies that make anti- depressants exactly what they need to target specific regions for sales. Areas that have a high rate of prostate disease?
Easy targets for companies that manufacture drugs for erectile dysfunction. This type of data is a treasure trove for private businesses and would be worth a lot of money to them.
Just look at how Facebook has been able to monetize the personal information it has stored on all its . However, for the past few years, e.
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical health care from a distance. It has been used to overcome distance.
Health Ontario has actively been encouraging physicians to house personal information with medical software that uses an Application Service Provider (ASP). What this means is that when your physician logs into the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and enters your information, it's actually transmitted and stored off- site, usually at a secure server housed in the offices of whichever company owns the actual EMR Software. This is promoted by both e. Health and the EMR companies as an easier way for physicians to practice, as they don't have to worry about taking care of a server, backups, firewalls and all the other required security solutions. Mostly known by the general public for telecommunications, Telus also has a large health- care division that owns many different types of EMR software. Telus International has a variety of interests including gaming, e- commerce, travel and more. And yes, Telus Health promotes an ASP solution for EMR as well.
Telus Corp. This would prevent corporations from being tempted to access this data and provide patients with an additional sense of security. Well, look who shows up on a list of top campaign donors to the Ontario Liberal Party in their last by election. Why, none other than Telus Corporation. It would be wrong of me to suggest any wrongdoing by Telus, and in fact, they have a very strong reputation in the medical community for the quality of their software and the strength of their security protocols.
I've met many of the executives at Telus and found them to be extremely professional and ethical. But the optics are really bad here. Companies that can potentially benefit from having easy access to this type of data have donated to the Liberal re- election campaign. You have a Liberal Party that has dismal approval ratings in Ontario. Yet they are sitting on a treasure trove of data that does have significant value, and could bring in money that would help balance the books. Here's hoping the consultation with health stakeholders that Hoskins promises in his open letter will put a stop to the selling of private patient information, even if in an aggregate manner.
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