When patients give their consent to the processing of personal data, they seldom think of what happens to their data once it is processed and which third parties will be gaining access to it.
September 28, 2021
When patients give their consent to the processing of personal data, they seldom think of what happens to their data once it is processed and which third parties will be gaining access to it. It is no secret to anyone anymore that patients in hospitals and medical programs are far from the only ones affected by the infringement of the corporate sector on the privacy of personal data. IT giants like Google, Facebook, and the multiple affiliated digital platforms that feed off the streams of incoming user input generated by such magnates, all receive profits from the use of big data.
The use of personal data in the medical sector is of especial interest for any state, considering that half of the world’s population is deprived of the opportunity to receive quality and affordable health care, according to a report issued by the United Nations in 2020. The biggest issue with the given sad state of affairs is that even in countries that are included in the more fortunate half of the world, numerous patients are unable to access quality healthcare. And that is happening despite the abundance of big data solutions and the high probability of their data already circulating in the system and being used for any number of purposes other than for their own benefit.
Medical data available to institutions is, unfortunately, fragmented and concentrated in the data banks owned by large organizations. And while the organizations and IT giants sell such data for profit, the patients incur additional costs and do not receive compensation for their contribution to the data banks, essentially nullifying the value of personal data for its holders.
If the issue is to be boiled down to its core — patients in numerous countries receive low-quality medical care due to the lack of an effective mechanism for monitoring and developing the healthcare industry in specific states. This further reduces the value of patient data on the global scale, effectively nullifying the contribution it could be making in the long term for the contributors in favour of short term profiteering
Furthermore, patients have no control over their own medical personal data. The reason is because, once submitted to the parties in question, the sensitive medical data is stored centrally, making it vulnerable to hacker attacks on a daily basis. There is no guarantee that the data banks are secure, and the numerous cases of breaches in the past that have resulted in leaks of millions of personal details onto the Darknet depict a frightening scenario if it is ever applied to such sensitive information.
The lack of a unified system for reliable and safe exchange of medical information often leads to errors and delays in patient treatment and may even cost lives. The result is overall reduced confidence in health and insurance systems due to their low efficiency, the lack of transparency in the entire industry, and in current practices. Combined, such a state of affairs not only jeopardizes the integrity of the existing medical system, but also undermines confidence in its future development and in new solutions striving to improve the situation.
The advent of the decentralized form of information storage on the blockchain has shed a ray of hope on the matter in the form of a promise to streamline, better protect and make the entire cycle of information submission, use and storage more transparent. However, new users, who are only just starting to delve into the intricacies of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, often cannot figure out how to buy them, where to store them, and how to transfer their funds to receiving addresses. In addition to onboarding issues, the traditional market of goods and services is limited in terms of cryptocurrency acceptance, and therefore cryptocurrencies are more of an asset in demand among investors than ordinary consumers who can make use of them the most.
One of the solutions for the issue is the introduction of a more focused and audience-tailored approach that would entail people compiling a personal history of their health status from a very early age in the DeHealth electronic health card application that relies on artificial intelligence for systematizing and storing the data.
The data structured by the DeHealth application using blockchain technologies as its basis allows medical personnel to reduce the time it takes to collect information about a patient’s health, assess risks, make a more accurate diagnosis, or adjust treatment. The wholesome and combined approach offered by DeHealth makes lifelong medical care a sustainable and, most importantly — user-controlled process that removes the need for intermediaries like IT giants from the equation.
The concept of the DeHealth application’s workflow foresees patients receiving direct access to a personal virtual assistant represented by a DeHealth AI. By analyzing the information compiled on the individual, the AI taps into a full record of medical data and provides individual recommendations on health and wellbeing. Such an AI-assisted approach not only provides daily recommendations on health to patients, but also radically reduces the effort it takes doctors to formulate a diagnosis, saving precious time and improving patient treatment.
Considering the weighty contribution blockchain technologies are making in the big data industry, and their ongoing and rapid integration into a variety of industries for data storage and management, it is only logical for the medical industry to take on the mantle. The DeHealth application offers a comprehensive and ready-made solution that ensures not only full transparency of all operations with medical personal data, but also the added benefit of automated and high-quality processing of data streams for the benefit of the patient.
Solutions like those presented by DeHealth may finally be endowing patient data with a value that will not only serve corporations, but individuals and the medical system as a whole.
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