Lauren is discussing the US trend for the centralisation of medical records, but of course it is not just the US who are on this journey. The UK is there, and Sweden has been there for some time. The debates going on in the UK are pretty hot!
As a Swedish resident I can vouch that the advantages are realised immediately and I can say -somewhat reluctantly and against my better self- is much to my personal advantage. Moreover patients will illnesses such as diabetes, epilepsy would probably be strong supporters of this because centralisation of patient data would give them more freedom, as it wouldn’t matter where they were they can feel assured of being treated correctly and hence safely. The effectiveness of -for example- Verichips technologies RFID implants are dependent upon centralisation of patient data in their healthcare vertical focus. Take a look at the video they have on their home page to see how they are marketing their concepts.
When I lived in France and Switzerland I was responsible for my own patient data. I carried it around with me. In Swtizerland they even have a practice of destroying xrays/scans etc., after a certain period of time. Hence it is up to the patient to take ownership for themselves.
This brings some thoughts to mind and that is: Is this not in-line with that we as citizens need to be responsible for our lives, work and future. There is no job for life any longer, so what’s the difference in doing the same with our medical records? Clearly those that have medical conditions can chose to have their personal information centralised, but why should we all have to do this? My doctor can have my personal health records, how this is distributed should be with my approval.
As you probably have guessed as a security practitioner I am NOT enthusiastic on the centralisation of my personal data. Although assurances are made today on the ‘non abuse’ of this information we can NEVER be assured of how governments, trends and social attitudes will change in the future.