- More than half of consumers report being skeptical about digital health technologies, largely because of concerns about personal privacy, a national survey by Black Book Market Research shows.
- Conducted during the 2016 fourth quarter, the research company found that 57% of people who engaged with technology through a hospital, doctor or ancillary provider had doubts about the overall benefits of health IT such as patient portals, mobile apps and electronic medical records.
- A whopping 87% of patients said they would not share all their medical information, compared with 66% who were willing to reveal their personal data in 2013.
Last year saw a spate of large data breaches at U.S. hospitals and health systems. In June, a hacker put the health records of 9.3 million people — stolen from the databases of four healthcare organizations — up for sale on the dark web. Cyber and ransomware attacks hit Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, Maryland-based Medstar and Banner Health, as well.
The survey found that 69% of patients felt their primary care physician wasn’t technology-savvy enough to ensure their information would be protected. Allaying consumers’ concerns about data security is essential if health IT is going to realize its full potential, Douglas Brown, president of Black Book, pointed out in a statement.
Respondents were especially concerned that their pharmacy prescriptions (90%), mental health notes (99%) and chronic health information (81%) was being shared beyond their provider and payer with retailers, employers and the government without their consent.
“Incomplete medical histories and undisclosed conditions, treatment or medications raises obvious concerns on the reliability and usefulness of patient heath data in application of risk based analytics, care plans, modeling, payment reforms, and population health programming,” Brown said. “This revelation should force cybersecurity solutions to the top of the technology priorities in 2017 to achieve tangible trust in big data dependability.”