In this three-part series, we last looked at how digitizing healthcare data is a focus for both providers and medtech manufacturers around the world.
And yet, the topic remains controversial in some minds due to a proliferation of data breaches in industries from finance to retail. How to guarantee that health data, one of the most protected forms of information, remains secure and in line with federal privacy regulations like HIPAA?
As medtech developers work with tech security and related industries, an answer to this question is closer than ever. And the benefit for patients, providers, and investors make it a priority to access this data.
Digitized health information’s main benefit is that it opens up a world of knowledge to researchers seeking a better understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of people’s health. It’s also an excellent way to track the performance of medical devices and interventions in the real world.
But digitizing data doesn’t mean that the actual people tied to it can be discovered or known. In fact, researchers in any field typically prefer an anonymous subject to reduce concerns of bias. The primary way to make sure privacy is a priority is by gathering and encrypting health data from patients without including any identifying factors. The NIH has also started building the Collaboratory as a way for researchers to safely access information from past clinical trials and protects it by limiting use to within a single-system setup.
In the final part of this series, we will discuss the benefits that digital health data have specifically when it comes to clinical trials. Reducing cost, time, and getting care to those who need it quickly is set to revolutionize how new medications and interventions enter the market.