I happened across an article on data and the Big Brother effect which included data in healthcare. I’m a bit perplexed, surprised and honestly a teeny bit worried. We know that they get data on what we watch on TV. We know that they can track trending health issues using Twitter. We know that health insurance claim information has been tracked and some allegations have been made that it has/could be used against the patient in regard to cost/deductibles and even the ability to obtain coverage. My mother has had issues with this as she has what is called a pre-existing condition in the insurance world – meaning that she had a medical condition before purchasing the insurance so they won’t pay for anything to do with continued treatment.
Now, according the article, even more data is currently being mined and applied to managing/tracking the health of populations.Honestly, I was a bit shocked as to what data they were using.
According to report authors Pam Dixon and Robert Gellman, these include: retailer databases, financial sector non-credit information, commercial data brokers, multichannel direct response, online surveys, catalog and phone orders, warranty card registrations, Internet sweepstakes, retailer loyalty cards, lifestyle information gathered from fitness and wellness centers, and non-profit organization member or donor lists.
LexisNexis is one of the largest data mining companies out there. They reportedly are using court records and housing information to assist with population health management. I am puzzled by how this information could be used for that purpose. What data or information specifically are they using?
If we start using social media data – and I have to wonder what source(s) they might be tapping for this collection – then they might find out information that isn’t shared with providers of health care – more along the line of their daily habits. Do they party/drink, go skydiving, drive cars too fast…
What are your thoughts on this subject?