The Digital Health Trust and Transparency Gap

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The Digital Health Trust and Transparency Gap

Skip across the trust gap

In this LinkedIn article, you'll learn about:
  • The digital health sector is "exploding" and worth an estimated $14.7B invested across 372 US digital health deals in the first half of 2021, according to Rock Health's annual report. Even the best intentioned digital health companies are doing a poor job of ensuring sensitive health information is handled correctly. In May of 2020, the AMA issued guidance for supporting an individual's right to control, access, and delete personal data collected about them (not guaranteed by HIPAA). A study found that of the 36 top-ranked apps for depression and smoking cessation available in public app stores, 29 transmitted data to services provided by Facebook or Google, but only 12 accurately disclosed this in a privacy policy. Another study looked at 10 opioid addiction apps and concluded that the sheer amount of data available raises questions about the privacy and security practices of telehealth apps.

  • There is no generally accepted set of security standards or general requirements for protecting digital health information outside of HIPPA. The FTC released a statement in September 2015 that laid out expectations for digital health apps and related services. Despite the statement, the rule itself is confusing and lacks a digestible framework for non-lawyers. In 2020, the Office of Civil Affairs received approximately 27,000 complaints, 20,000 of which were resolved after intake and review, and 2,000 formally investigated. It will take time for congress to build a framework, and to build out a team and infrastructure to properly enforce regulation.

  • A reckoning is coming for digital health companies that don't prioritize exchanging data in line with policies and regulations. Here's a starting list for those looking to built trust and transparency with patients and external stakeholders.
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