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Privacy & Consumer Education

by John Moore | October 07, 2008

There has been more written, commented upon and just general noise around the whole topic of privacy and medical records that it is often difficult to separate what truly is important and reason for concern and what is not.

Time and again, privacy is raised as one of the leading issues with regards to personal health records and possibly the leading contributor to lack of adoption of PHRs. While I do agree that health information is extremely private and personal as we have stated many times before, adoption of PHRs, or lack thereof, has very little to do with privacy and security and everything to do with just poorly designed, cumbersome apps that developers expect consumers to adopt and use.

But what happens when we have too many “privacy pundits” out there all trying to make a name for themselves and their organizations with there publicity splashes and poorly research reports?  Well, we end up with those responsible for policy saying: “Oh gee, we just have to do something about privacy, so let’s set up a certification process to insure privacy and security of PHRs.”

Can we step back a little and just think this through – please.

Rather than forcing a young, rapidly evolving industry (personal health applications of which PHRs are a subset) to potentially go through some form of lengthy, and what will most likely be expensive, certification process, how about we just educate the public.  Have seen a couple of attempts but they were pretty lame.  Found the short video below while doing research on a completely separate topic. (Yes, research on YouTube – good source if you know what you are looking for).  It was developed by the Canadian and Internet-savvy population (e.g., MySpace and Facebook users) and does an excellent job of framing the privacy topic and what the consumer needs to be aware of.  Brilliantly done and well-worth the couple of minutes of your time.


While this video is focused on social networking sites, it would not be that difficult to create a similar video for the PHR market.  Come to think of it, would be a great idea for all those PHR vendors to chip-in on and then post it on their respective websites.  After all, privacy is an industry issue, not a company issue.

One response to “Privacy & Consumer Education”

  1. […] often difficult to separate what truly is important and reason for concern and what is not.” Article John Moore, Chilmark Research, 7 October […]

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