Tag: AMA president Jack Resneck Jr.

Patient Survey Shows Unresolved Tension Over Health Data Privacy Vulnerabilities

A new examination of patient perspectives on data privacy illustrates unresolved tension over the eroding security and confidentiality of personal health information in a wired society and economy. More than 92% of patients believe privacy is a right and their health data should not be available for purchase, according to a survey released today by the American Medical Association (AMA).

The survey of 1,000 patients was conducted by Savvy Cooperative, a patient-owned source of healthcare insights, at the beginning of 2022 and found concern over data privacy protections and confusion regarding who can access personal health information. Nearly 75% of patients expressed concern about protecting the privacy of personal health data, and only 20% of patients indicated they knew the scope of companies and individuals with access to their data.

This concern is magnified with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization as the lack of data privacy could place patients and physicians in legal peril in states that restrict reproductive health services.

The survey indicated patients are most comfortable with physicians and hospitals having access to personal health data, and least comfortable with social media sites, employers and technology companies having access to the same data.

“Patients trust that physicians are committed to protecting patient privacy – a crucial element for honest health discussions,” said AMA president Jack Resneck Jr., M.D. “Many digital health technologies, however, lack even basic privacy safeguards. More must be done by policymakers and developers to protect patients’ health information. Most health apps are either unregulated or underregulated, requiring near and long-term policy initiatives and robust enforcement by federal and state regulators. Patient confidence in data privacy is undermined as technology companies and data brokers gain access to indelible health data without patient knowledge or consent and share this information with third parties, including law enforcement.”

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