Hospitals Are Selling Treasure Troves of Medical Data — What Could Go Wrong?
Healthcare organizations and hospitals in the United States all sit on treasure troves: a stockpile of patient health data stored as electronic medical records. Those files show what people are sick with, how they were treated, and what happened next. Taken together, they’re hugely valuable resources for medical discovery.
More and more healthcare groups are taking advantage of those partnerships. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is working with startups to develop algorithms to diagnose and manage conditions based on health data.
There may be benefits to sharing this data — researchers can learn what types of treatments are best for people with certain medical conditions and develop tools to improve care. But there are risks to free-flowing data, says Eric Perakslis, chief science and digital officer at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.