Patient Data Portability
In the United States, it is possible to take everything you have, pack it up and move all the way across the country with no one questioning it. You just go, find a place to live and you’re good. These days, thanks to the digital revolution and the gig economy, it might even be possible to keep your job. You can even travel all over the world and bring your computer and your work with you. Yet, there is one particular thing you can’t easily take with you – your medical records.
The reasons for this are simple. Medical information is some of the most personal there is about you. It can affect your job, your insurance, and reveal areas of weakness that bad actors could take advantage of. Because of that, naturally you want that information kept private. Not just from your neighbor but from other companies as well. However, is it really private? And there are certainly times that you would want your information readily available. Just imagine you are several states over on vacation doing some hiking. You trip and hit your head on a rock, knocking yourself unconscious. You weren’t out by yourself so your friends got you to the hospital. They doctors hit you with some anesthetic – which you happen to be allergic to. You have a massive reaction that delays the surgery you need to relieve pressure on your brain. The end result is that you lose function on the left side of your body. This entire situation could have been prevented if the doctors could have had quick and easy access to your records that detail all your allergies. If they had that information, a different anesthetic would have been applied and the surgery would have happened sooner without any complications. Now, for the reasons already stated, it is hard for other medical facilities to get your information. At the least, it takes your express permission for them to get it, which you can’t give if you are knocked out with a concussion. Wouldn’t it be better if you had an advanced version of those medical bracelets with a code that provides access to your records? Or if you could just have a digital version on your phone? Something that would make it possible for medical personnel to access your information in an emergency situation could save a life.
Yet, this is often difficult at best. Ironically, hospitals and other companies that deal with medical information will often sell your information to third parties. It gets used in crafting new drugs as well as new procedures and policies. Sure, your name isn’t attached to the information so it is anonymized to a large degree. However, that is still your information and it doesn’t seem right that Bayer or Moderna should be able to access your information more than you can. And let’s be honest, how likely is it that your medical data is truly anonymous? Just as companies buying your data from T-Mobile can figure out who and where you are if they want, an insurance company will likely be able to connect the dots if they put forth a little effort. It would be fair to point out that having your medical data on the cloud somewhere also exposes it to getting hacked and exploited. However, that is a risk you are choosing to take.
That’s why TARTLE has partnered with medical providers around the United States to allow TARTLE members to have control of their medical data. Our members can more easily store and share their medical information as needed, allowing them to more readily deal with medical issues. After all, if you are going to be sovereign over your data, don’t you think that should include your medical information as well?
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Sovereignty over your data and your Digital Identity is your right. At TARTLE we are all in when it comes to empowering and protecting what’s rightfully yours.