Nearly three-quarters of Brits have given their support for data sharing of their medical information, so long as it goes towards benefitting others.
Research by YouGov revealed 71 per cent of people would willingly share their health data if it is kept anonymous and unidentifiable, and assisted in medical research that could help others in the future.
Chief executive of the Patients Association Rachel Power was quoted by Digital Health as saying: “There’s little doubt that new technologies will play a part in delivering care in future, and the results from this study confirm that most people support the use of anonymised patient data for medical research purposes.”
She went on to say this sharing of medical data between care providers “is essential to delivering joint-up care that works for the patient”.
The Patients Association reiterated the importance that this data should only be for research purposes and never “used inappropriately”, with sensitive information remaining wholly confidential.
According to the survey, 13 per cent of people think ‘big tech’ companies can be relied upon to deal with anonymous patient data confidentially.
New guidance by the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) could be useful in this case, as it aims to improve information sharing processes.
By clarifying issues around recording and sharing of patient data between healthcare providers – GPs, hospitals, and care centres – it will alleviate public concern that their data will not be kept confidential.
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