Report: Balancing Health Data Privacy With Convenience Key in 2015

December 6, 2014 in News

Consumers appear eager to be more involved in their health care and to use at-home monitoring devices, despite concerns about medical data security, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report, Forbes reports (Japsen, Forbes, 12/4).

For the report, PwC interviewed 1,000 U.S. consumers in addition to health industry leaders to compile the list of top health care issues for 2015 (Snell, Health IT Security, 12/4).

Details of Findings

According to the report, the top health care issues include:

  • Balancing privacy with convenience;
  • Do-it-yourself health care, such as patients using personal mobile applications or devices;
  • Heightening transparency;
  • High-cost patients sparking cost-saving innovations;
  • Increasing use of new evidence and definitions of positive health outcomes, such as genomic data;
  • Increasing use of mobile health applications;
  • Partnerships and joint ventures forming among health care companies;
  • Expanding scopes of practice for nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists;
  • Redefining health and well-being for the millennial generation; and
  • Treating newly insured individuals (PricewaterhouseCoopers report, November 2014).

Researchers found prevalent concerns among consumers about data security, with:

  • 78% reporting concerns about medical data security; and
  • 68% reporting concerns about data on smartphone health apps (Dolan, MobiHealthNews, 12/4).

In addition, researchers found that:

  • 73% of consumers valued data security over ease of access for diagnoses and doctors’ notes;
  • 71% of consumers valued data security over convenience of access for medical tests and imaging results;
  • 68% of consumers valued convenience over security for diet and exercise results; and
  • 65% of consumers valued stronger security on prescription information over convenience.

More than half of consumer respondents said that privacy and security concerns could influence whether they disclosed “everything” to their doctors about their conditions (Health IT Security, 12/4).

Meanwhile, researchers found that physicians were more interested than consumers in DIY medicine, with:

  • More than half of physicians saying they would use data from an at-home urinalysis device used by patients; and
  • About one-third of consumers saying they would use an at-home urinalysis device (MobiHealthNews, 12/4).
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