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USB with Healthcare Data travels alone

“Just put it here Doc, handing over an USB sticky. ‘Then I’ll put it later on in my PHR, so I later can send back by the other healthcare-professionals, I have been contracted.”

Consult information on stick 
After the doctor, in full compliance with protocol and standards, did transfered the data from the last consultation including the values of the lab on the PHR-stick of Mr. Jackson the latter leaves for home. A little annoyed that traveling by bus to the hospital that is located a little further away, but on the other hand the advantages of this hospital are worth this travel. Making appointments by the internet is great, as well as the time they are taking to inform you about every thing. 

Down jacket 
When disembarking from the bus, the little coat hooks behind a chair, Mr.Jackson gracefully liberates it from the chair with a swing. Now the last 2 minutes walk to home. 

Stick Lost 
That the graceful sweep of the jacket made the USB stick tumble from the pocket on the floor of the bus, hasn’t been noticed by him. So, the sticks’ undetected travel continues. It only becomes clear a day later as Hr. Jackson wants to supplement his PHR. What happened with the sticky, will always remain unknown

But …. what íf it falls into  comes in the wrong hands, what íf the data appears on the Internet, or …. 

Health 2.0 and accountability.

We are facing a new challenge I think. Health 2.0 stands for openness, transparency, new cooperation between patient and doctor. It also is about common responsibility to. As in the case of the lonely traveling USB Stick. 

Data ‘authentication’ 
We will need to consider how to handle data provided to others. Perhaps find a way to provide such data to “authenticate” as provided data, so some kind of “watermark”. How can ever be traced where an x-ray comes as something pops up. The hospital may have its act together in perfect order, but by another healthcare provider or patient arrives at a place less desirable. 

Patients Advocates 

Patients want their own data, Patient Advocates and e-patient Dave gives us a nice look at some aspects of this example in these two videos below from one of his keynotes. 

Therefore in this sense, I call to think up front. we are accountable to do anything to make absolutely sure what the origin of data is, digitally and in hard copy and on the other hand to try all within our power to share patients’ data with them.

En garde, there is much to do.


e-Patient Dave: Authentic Value: Being Known in e-Patient Communities (Part 1 of 2)

e-Patient Dave: Authentic Value: Being Known in e-Patient Communities (Part 2 of 2)



Lucien Engelen

3 replies

  1. Yes. Did you see yesterday’s Twitter discussion about lost USB sticks?If you lose a VitalKey, you call them and they change its security code. (The stick can only be read when online. The real "sacred" copy of the data is in their server.) That’s better than nothing for security but it’s no good in an ambulance, eh? And that kind of security doesn’t work until you notice you lost it.I like the idea of adding a thumbprint reader to the stick, like <a href="">this</a&gt;. That would work even if I’m half dead, and it would guarantee the stick can’t be read without me.The software should allow unlocking it, with proper authorization.

  2. Looks like a nice step forward Dave, i write blog because of à discussion we had at our UMC. Looking to Lodewijks blog there is indeed ever less reason to NOT carry it around ON à stick, rather the stick be the KEY

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