Thursday, July 26, 2007

Medical Records on the Internet

The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial by digital diva Esther Dyson
having to do with health care reform. (Journal articles require
registration to view.)

Dyson begins with this announcement:

In a couple of months, my genome, my answers to a substantial health questionnaire and my medical records (as many of them as I can collect, anyway) will be posted on the Internet for all to see.

Ms. Dyson -- who has a stake in several health-related start-up companies -- is one of 10 pioneers who have agreed to participate in the Personal Genome Project run by Harvard University geneticist, George Church.

Dyson explains that there are privacy concerns about putting this much personal health information online, but she believes the benefits will be worth it.

In his book, Health Care Reform Now!, author George Halvorson makes similar claims to Dyson's about the potential benefits of having health records accessible on the Internet:

We are on the very edge of using the Internet to improve care in a great many ways, both with individual patients and with caregivers.... Caregiver[s] would not need to wait years to attend a seminar to learn [a] new technique.

How do you feel about having your medical information available on the Internet? Do you think it's a bad idea that will lead to abuse of data, or a good idea that will lead to better care?

We'd love to hear your opinion. Comments are open but moderated.

SOURCE: "Full Disclosure" 07/25/07
photo courtesy of FreeImages

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