WLSA’s Rob McCray responds to the article, “You Should Share Your Health Data: Its Value Outweighs the Privacy Risk.” Read the article and the comment and tell us what you think about the risk of sharing your data.
The importance of health data sharing is well stated in Beth’s editorial. The negative reactions of many commenters are not surprising. After all this is “personal data” and just yesterday another major security breach in retail (Home Depot, 53 million user iDs) was disclosed. Speaking to those commenters, I ask you to consider a world in which the “outcomes” of using automobiles were as secret as health outcomes; where manufacturers could not learn from the engineering mistakes of others; where drivers did not share their personal experiences. Data sharing, transparency and the measurement of marketing claims against real world outcomes are the reasons why automobiles have become more efficient, safer, more comfortable and more affordable over the past few decades. Compare this with medical devices and drugs. They are used in the opaque reality of health care where outcomes are rarely recorded, much less shared, and innovation requires the wealth of small nations and the patience of a bureaucracy. Consumers have not been well served.