People can run into medical problems at any time. However, most of these incidents occur when the patient does not have access to their medical records. There could be a variety of reasons the patient may not have access, such as the doctor is not in his or her office. Fortunately, there are now new programs that allow patients to download their medical history into a text file onto smartphones or personal computers. Then a third party application can be downloaded to help organize the information, putting it into an easy to read format. This allows a patient to provide their medical information to any health care professional who is unfamiliar with their medical history. This allows to doctors to provide the patient with the best possible treatment.
Patients today are being encouraged to take a more active role in their health. Making medical records and test results available on smartphones is one way to make this easier for patients to access and monitor their own health. This ability to monitor their health makes patients more knowledgeable and able to make decisions and improvements to their own health. However, there are some concerns regarding the protection of this very private and potentially sensitive data.
The director of the Health Privacy Project released some tips on how consumers can protect themselves and the privacy of their medical information. Those tips include:
- Check whether the cellphone app maker claims rights to a patient’s data for the purpose of marketing.
- Check for clear statements on how the data is used.
- Determine who owns the data that is used.
- See if there are any commitments on the security of your data.
- Do you have rights to retrieve data if service is canceled?
- Are you able to remotely delete data if it is stolen?
Health care professionals can also run into problems with information stored on a smartphone.
Doctors may not know for certain that the records on the smartphone are complete for a variety of reasons. For example, a patient may not want to keep some medical data on their smartphone for personal reasons. However, the information that is omitted could be important in the event of an emergency.
The storage of medical data on smartphones could be extremely helpful to doctors who are not familiar with a patient’s medical history. It could help with diagnosis of a health issue or knowledge of what drugs have been prescribed could prevent mixing of medications. However, there are privacy concerns, as other people may be able to access the records on the smartphone. Each individual should weigh the pros and cons of keeping medical records on their smartphones to make the decision that is best for them.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.