The Digital Rescue of health care

Globe and Mail

There are apps that connect patients to physicians, digital stethoscopes that can transmit the heartbeats of the unborn. The digital revolution is poised to transform Canadian health care – whether hospitals are ready for it or not.

“It’s unstoppable,” said Ivar Mendez, a neurosurgeon who is chairman of the Brain Repair Centre, a Dalhousie University and Halifax hospital-affiliated institute of researchers and physicians who are creating groundbreaking treatments and technologies. “This is going to democratize health care, because it’s going to provide access.” For the rest of the story see Globe and Mail

Google raises privacy fears

Google Inc. raised privacy fears when it announced the consolidation of it’s privacy agreements. Government agencies and privacy watch dogs are announcing their concerns and potential investigations.

By Sharon Gaudin ComputerWorld – Google has whipped up a privacy brouhaha with a blog post announcing that the company is rewriting its privacy policy, consolidating user information across its services.

What has the blogosphere and some users in an uproar is that Google isn’t offering users an opt-out option. If you don’t want your information from Gmail, YouTube and Google searches combined into one personal data store that can paint a detailed picture of you, the only option is to stop using Google’s services.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to keep using Google’s highly popular products and services and not have the company combine all your personal data. And that bothers some users. For the rest of the story, see ComputerWorld Google stirs up privacy hornet’s nest

A sickening side-effect of the eHealth revolution

Globe and Mail – The digital revolution is poised to transform Canadian health care, promising more timely access to doctors and streamlined service that is expected to improve the patient experience while reducing waste and unnecessary testing.

But the technological changes – from an app that connects surgical patients to their doctors, wherever they are, to the dream of a single electronic health record a patient has for life – also come with a downside: the possible breach of privacy.

Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian says she is a huge supporter of electronic health records but stressed they must be done in a secure manner, adding that nothing deserves greater protection than a patient’s medical information. For the rest of the story see Globe and Mail