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The Clinical Divide: Protecting Patients' Health Data


Physicians and healthcare executives need to take action independent of a bill to protect patients' health data.

Two senators recently introduced a bipartisan bill to address health data privacy concerns. Through the bill, the senators hope to protect consumers’ personal health data by requiring a new privacy regulation that targets health data collected by health tracking applications, wearables and direct-to-consumer DNA testing kits.

However, with patients’ health data at constant risk, we as healthcare executives and physicians must do our part to make sure we are protecting our patients’ privacy.

Welcome to The Clinical Divide. I’m Dr. Kevin Campbell. I’m a Duke-trained cardiologist and the chief innovation officer of the health data startup PaceMate and its parent company, biocynetic. Every week, this Inside Digital Health™ video series examines healthcare technology and medicine’s top news. I bring you the views that help physicians and healthcare executives bridge the clinical divide.

Last week, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Lisa Murkowski introduced the Protecting Personal Health Data Act. The bill would require the secretary of HHS to implement regulations for new health tech like wearables, mHealth apps and direct-to-consumer genetic testing kits which are currently not covered by existing laws.

This proposed bill is a long time coming. Data breaches are happening all over our country — in small practices and in large, multi-hospital health systems. With all of the new technologies out there, these privacy and security issues will only continue to grow and likely affect more and more people.

While this legislation is a step in the right direction, more must be done. We need to take action as physicians and healthcare executives — and all healthcare workers — independent of a bill like this. We must ensure that when we handle our patients’ data, that they are always secure and encrypted. In addition, we must make sure our patients are educated on how their data can be used by wearable device companies, mHealth app developers or genetic testing companies — because knowledge is power.

Thank you for joining me for this episode of The Clinical Divide. Until next week, I’m Dr. Kevin Campbell, for Inside Digital Health™.

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More Episodes of The Clinical Divide:

Using VR for More Accurate Diagnoses

Leveraging AI Technologies to Improve Efficiency in Healthcare

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