Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Our Bodies, Our Data Cover Art

Our Bodies, Our Data

Author: Adam Tanner
Publisher: Beacon Press
ASIN: 0807033340

About This Book

Hidden to consumers, patient medical data has become a multibillion-dollar worldwide trade industry between our health-care providers, drug companies and a complex web of middlemen. This medical-data bazaar sells copies of the prescription you recently filled, your hospital records, insurance claims, blood-test results and more—stripped of your name but possibly with identifiers such as year of birth, gender and doctor. As computing grows ever more sophisticated, patient dossiers become increasingly vulnerable to reidentification and the possibility of being targeted by identity thieves or hackers.

Paradoxically, comprehensive electronic files for patient treatment—the reason medical data exists in the first place—remain an elusive goal. Even today, patients or their doctors rarely have easy access to comprehensive records that could improve care. In the evolution of medical data, the instinct for profit has outstripped patient needs. This book tells the human, behind-the-scenes story of how such a system evolved internationally.

The story begins with New York advertising man Ludwig Wolfgang Frohlich, who founded IMS Health, the world’s dominant health-data miner, in the 1950s. IMS Health now gathers patient medical data from more than 45 billion transactions annually from 780,000 data feeds in more than 100 countries. Our Bodies, Our Data uncovers some of Frohlich’s hidden past and follows the story of what happened in the following decades. This is a story about medicine and medical practice, and about big business and maximizing profits, and the places these meet. These are places most most of us believe are off-limits.

 

Tags/Keywords

medical privacy


 
 
 

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