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Nhs Patient Data To Be Made Available For Sale To Drug And Insurance Firms

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http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/19/nhs-patient-data-available-companies-buy

Drug and insurance companies will from later this year be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – once a single English database of medical data has been created.

Harvested from GP and hospital records, medical data covering the entire population will be uploaded to the repository controlled by a new arms-length NHS information centre, starting in March. Never before has the entire medical history of the nation been digitised and stored in one place.

Advocates say that sharing data will make medical advances easier and ultimately save lives because it will allow researchers to investigate drug side effects or the performance of hospital surgical units by tracking the impact on patients.

But privacy experts warn there will be no way for the public to work out who has their medical records or to what use their data will be put. The extracted information will contain NHS numbers, date of birth, postcode, ethnicity and gender.

Once live, organisations such as university research departments – but also insurers and drug companies – will be able apply to the new Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to gain access to the database, called care.data.

If an application is approved then firms will have to pay to extract this information, which will be scrubbed of some personal identifiers but not enough to make the information completely anonymous – a process known as "pseudonymisation".

So more than enough to work out who you are then?

And the individual gets nothing in monetary terms?

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http://www.theguardi...e-companies-buy

So more than enough to work out who you are then?

And the individual gets nothing in monetary terms?

the individual already knows he is ill.

Now the Insurance industry does too.

Think of all the form filling this is going to save...just ringup, tell them your name et voila....refusal or covered....no declaration needed...indeed, the insurance cant later claim you didnt declare x or y.

so, some advantage, but the privacy disadvantage outweighs. Unless of course you never get ill or lie to your Doctor.

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the individual already knows he is ill.

Now the Insurance industry does too.

Think of all the form filling this is going to save...just ringup, tell them your name et voila....refusal or covered....no declaration needed...indeed, the insurance cant later claim you didnt declare x or y.

so, some advantage, but the privacy disadvantage outweighs. Unless of course you never get ill or lie to your Doctor.

Or get misdiagnosed......

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Ive had several NHS numbers too.

I keep meaning to check whether I have. I found an old appointment card from about 16 years ago and its got a number on it. Don't know if its the same reference as more recent stuff. But it would explain why they had no notes from my previous septoplasty.

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Personally I don't have a problem with this... as long as it's subject to sufficient pseudonymisation. An awful lot of modern medicine is based on population statistics, the more data the better. BUT..

Without good pseudonymisation, you may find that even requesting the removal of your info will suddenly make you uninsurable. 'We cannot find your records online so computer says no..'.

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Personally I don't have a problem with this... as long as it's subject to sufficient pseudonymisation. An awful lot of modern medicine is based on population statistics, the more data the better. BUT..

Without good pseudonymisation, you may find that even requesting the removal of your info will suddenly make you uninsurable. 'We cannot find your records online so computer says no..'.

Would be much more reassuring if they restricted the data for university use only so the research benefit could be utilised without placing any trust in the ethics of big business...

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Contract was awarded to French company ATOS, those who have done such good work sorting out the sick and disabled on welfare. The kind of company you want to have access to your personal data.

ATOS win contract for new General Practice Extraction Service

Damn. Wonder how they will try and use it to push more actually disabled people off of disability payments?

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