Technology and Business Law Blog

Consolidation of Health Records and Privacy

Consolidation and digitization of health records of individuals seems to be the next niche market and major players like Google and Microsoft are getting into it. Read here.

An electronic personal health file seems like the way to go where all the information can be found on-line  in one place and can be easily accessed but the downside to this will be that this kind of consolidation and accessibility can also lead to leakage of information and privacy breaches.

Health records contain personal information and intimate details about an individual that one may not want to land in the wrong hands which can affect his or her job, insurance eligibility and personal & social life. Currently under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) health records cannot be easily subpoenaed, used for profit and must be stored securely.  Now if companies like Google and Microsoft take over the maintainence and upkeepment of these health records even if they ensure secure storage as well as privacy, issue then will be, what remedies will they offer if the information does leak out one way  or the other since they are not covered by HIPPA which  currently offers legal  protection to doctors, pharmacies and hospitals.


February 28, 2008 - Posted by | privacy

1 Comment »

  1. Sujatha: The fact that Google and Microsoft are outside HIPAA does not mean the law affords no remedies for their mistakes. Contract law can provide remedies. To address the privacy fears associated with Google health records, patients might post legal contract terms and conditions in their records.


    Comment by benjaminwright | February 29, 2008 | Reply

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