Google Health: A time saver, but privacy slayer?

May 29, 2008

Two giants in the online world, Microsoft and Google, have released web-based applications to manage health records. And while these programs could make managing your health records easier, experts wonder about the effect on a patient’s privacy and safety.

Laurinda Harman, Ph.D., professor and chair of health information management at Temple University’s College of Health Professions, says medical identity theft continues to be a growing problem for patients.

“The crime occurs when someone uses a person's name and sometimes other parts of their identity — such as insurance information — without the person's knowledge or consent to obtain medical services or goods,” said Harman, adding that the consequences of someone else using your medical records could be life-threatening.

“If someone were to have a blood transfusion using my name, when I go in to have that same procedure, I could get the wrong blood,” she said.

Much like you would continuously check your credit scores and bank statements to prevent financial ID theft, Harman says the same rules apply to medical records.

“It’s important for everyone to keep track of their own records, and to really look at their bills to make sure there’s nothing suspicious on there.”

Source: Temple University

Explore further: Penis transplant offers hope to victims of botched circumcisions

Related Stories

Hackers keep trying new targets in search of easy data

Apr 14, 2015

The health care sector has become the hot target for hackers in recent months, according to researchers at Symantec, a leading cybersecurity company that says it's also seeing big increases in "spear-phishing," ...

Can phone companies do more to block robocalls?

Apr 07, 2015

Jeri Vargas put her elderly mother on the "Do Not Call" list years ago. So why is the 88-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease still getting several recorded phone calls a day pitching her everything from ...

Recommended for you

Game shows mosquito's-eye view of malaria

20 hours ago

A new game about the life cycle of malaria that can be played on Android smartphones has been created by an Oxford University developer, based on malaria research at the University's Nuffield Department of ...

DMV program can generate additional organ donors

Apr 23, 2015

(HealthDay)—A brief, web-based training program for department of motor vehicles (DMV) employees that educates them about organ and tissue donation can increase the likelihood of customers registering as ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.