Health Data – Key to Future Cures

Actually my optometrist was the most annoyed health practitioner I have recently visited about having to provide all my prescription information to the U.S. Electronic Health Record (E.H.R.) System.  I am not so sure it was about having to do it, but having to do it himself (typing on his laptop) while he completed my eye exam.  Maybe someone else could have done that at an additional cost.  Not my problem I guess, until I get a bill and see how I have to pay for it, or hope that someone else will (Obamacare?).  But most people seem to be more worried about whether their privacy will be protected?  

Never really thought about it too much.  Why would anyone really want to know anout my health history, but maybe that’s the point.  Technology has helped make all this information potentially available to a wide variety of people who want to make us live healthier lives, but similarly there maybe others who would like to use it against us in some way?  Or there may be others who just want more control over their personal information regardless of what benefits may be promised.  I remember hearing the phrase “you know too much,” being uttered during casual conversations.  Maybe this fear of personal information being “exposed” clouds our appreciation of how the sharing of personal health data can improve our general health care.

“Medical research is making progress every day, but the next step depends less on scientists and doctors than it does on the public.  Each of us has the potential to be part of tomorrow’s cures.”

Ray Myers

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