Privacy concerns about Quebec’s medical e-record scheme

The computerization of Montreal’s three million medical records will start this spring, while the transition to e-records is slated to be over by 2015, some are warning about privacy and language concerns.

(picture CTV)

CTV – Despite the concerns, having timely access to facts and figures is the key to efficient healthcare says Benjamin Burko, a physician who is embracing the new e-record scheme.

“Comprehensive information is the best way I have to take care of my patients, so philosophically I think it’s an excellent idea,” said Burko, a paediatrician in Dollard-des-Ormeaux. Continue reading

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 Health: First Failure of 2012

ComputerWorld – At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s day, Google Health, the personal health record data aggregation service for consumers, will shut down for good.

Google first made the announcement quietly, in a blog post last June. But the closure of Google Health next month is also an important inflection point for public cloud-based services.

Google Health’s failure shows that there are limits to how far users are willing to go in allowing access to personal information in exchange for free services. Will other initiatives soon follow?

Google’s goal was “to create a service that would give people access to their personal health and wellness information,” all in one place. It did not provide federated access to the data, but physically moved the data to its servers. It wanted to “translate our successful consumer-centered approach from other domains to healthcare and have a real impact on the day-to-day health experiences of millions of our users,” according to Google’s blog post.

Google anonymized, or “de-identified” users’ personal health data for purposes of data mining and publishing trends, most famously the trending information on influenza outbreaks. But its privacy policy precluded sharing of personally identifying information, and even de-identified information, with third parties. Read More