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PHI Education and News

Have you considered your privacy rights when using birth control apps?

Assessment of a Wired.com article by Megan Molteni

Nathan Botts 0 338 Article rating: 5.0

Abstract from the article titled, "Before Using Birth Control Apps Consider Your Privacy" posted on Wired.com: "Natural Cycles’ privacy policy states that in using the app each user grants the company and any of its partners broad rights to “use, reproduce, distribute, modify, adapt, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, communicate to the public, and otherwise utilize and exploit a user's anonymized information.”

OCR Guidance on Ensuring Equal Access to Emergency Services During Hurricane Florence

Official guidance from the Office for Civil Rights

Nathan Botts 0 1165 Article rating: 5.0

As Hurricane Florence makes landfall, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and its federal partners remain in close coordination to help ensure that emergency officials effectively address the needs of at-risk populations as part of disaster response. If you believe that a person or organization covered by the Privacy and Security Rules (a "covered entity") violated your health information privacy rights or otherwise violated the Privacy or Security Rules, you may file a complaint with OCR. For additional information about how to file a complaint, visit OCR's web page on filing complaints at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/index.html.

Get it. Check it. Use it.

Guidance from the Office for Civil Rights on your right to access your health records

Nathan Botts 0 1428 Article rating: 5.0

From the HHS Office for Civil Rights website: Ask your doctor. You have the right to see and get copies of your health information - PDF. In most cases, you can get a copy the way you want it, such as by e-mail. While your doctor normally has up to 30 days to provide you a copy of your information, your doctor often can provide the information much sooner than that. If your doctor offers a web portal, you may be able to easily view and download your health information whenever you want.

What you should know when submitting your DNA to genetic testing labs

With an update from a PLOS ONE article

Nathan Botts 1 1231 Article rating: 5.0

Subjective: An abstract from the McClatchy article: "In the age of Facebook and Google, consumers seem comfortable surrendering their personal information to corporations that aggregate it and monetize it. But Ancestry and other DNA testing companies have added an audacious tweak: Consumers are now paying to hand over their genetic code, their most sensitive individual identifier, to companies that could monetize it far into the future.​"

Why are wearables not better targeted toward the people who might need them the most?

Analysis of the J.C. Herz article at Wired.com

Nathan Botts 0 1534 Article rating: 5.0

SUBJECTIVE: Abstract from the article titled, "Wearable Are Totally Failing The People Who Need Them Most" posted on Wired Magazine: "As the Internet of Things becomes an actual thing, more steps are being counted, more sleep patterns are being logged, more activities are being appified. What isn’t appearing in the data is much common sense or ambition. Instead, developers continue flocking to a saturated market filled with hipster pet rocks, devices that gather reams of largely superficial information for young people whose health isn’t in question, or at risk."

How to Navigate Health App Permissions

An assessment of the article from Wired magazine

Nathan Botts 0 2312 Article rating: 5.0

SUBJECTIVE: This article published in Wired magazine discusses the long tail of privacy considerations that we need to think through when installing and giving permissions to apps on our smartphones, computers, and other internet connected devices. It brings to light the many different ways in which seemingly innocent functionalities that you turn on in apps can gather a lot of information that is often unknown to the user.

How do you control where your DNA data resides and how it is shared online?

An assessment of the article from Bloomberg

Nathan Botts 0 2058 Article rating: 5.0

Abstract from the Bllomberg article: "Your genetic code includes details about not only your own health and family, but also similarly intimate information about your relatives. When police recently used a genetic genealogy website to find a suspect in the case of the Golden State Killer, it illuminated the unexpected ways that your genetic data can be used by people you had no idea you were sharing it with."

Is It Legal to Record Your Visit with the Doctor?

Journal of the American Medical Association with an updated article from the BMJ

Nathan Botts 0 4678 Article rating: 4.7

In the article titled, "Can Patients Make Recordings of Medical Encounters?" from the JAMA Network authors Elwyn, Barr, and Castaldo discuss some of the broader legalities of making a recording while visiting your doctor.

Making a recording that you can add to your personal health record can be a great way of maintaining documentation and accountability for your care, as well as assist you and your family in remembering instructions given to you by your care provider.

Understanding the legalities can help ensure this is a positive experience for both you and your doctor and will allow you to make recordings that are admissible in court if needed.

HIPAA Helper

Who is Revealing Your Private Medical Information?

Nathan Botts 0 2984 Article rating: No rating

This service from Pro Publica allows a person to search and find out whether your hospital, clinic, pharmacy or health insurer has been named in patient privacy complaints, breaches or violations. This tool includes data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (which enforces HIPAA), the California Department of Public Health (which enforces California’s medical privacy laws) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (which tracks privacy violations at its vast network of veterans hospitals and clinics).

The Guide to Getting & Using Your Health Records

An Office of the National Coordinator published web guide

Nathan Botts 0 2148 Article rating: No rating

This newly published web guide from ONC titled, "The Guide to Getting & Using Your Health Records: The steps, tips, and tools you’ll need to get, check, and use your health record" helps to instruct consumers on how to get their health record from healthcare providers, their rights to those records, and some specific ways in which to get a hold of that information.

Sharing Sensitive Health Information: Protect Your Privacy and Improve Your Health

A guide from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

Nathan Botts 0 5304 Article rating: 5.0

This 2-page ONC published graphic novel (aka comic book) is a short guide that helps illustrate why protecting your health privacy is important and issues to consider when sharing sensitive health information.

Keeping track of medical records is key to protecting your health.

An article from Consumer Reports as reported by the Washington Post

Nathan Botts 0 1375 Article rating: 5.0

This article by Consumer Reports, reported on in the Washington Post provides a good summary and use case as to why keeping a personal health record (PHR) can be valuable to your overall health. It discusses how many of us see multiple doctors that use different types of electronic health record systems (EHRs) and that because of this it is likely that are health information is difficult to find in one place. Maintaining your own PHR can help to create a unified place to store your important health information.

Dos and don’ts for patients who consult Dr. Google

A Blog Post from Kevin Pho M.D.

Nathan Botts 0 1314 Article rating: 4.0

Dr. Kevin Pho offers consumers and patients some personal advice on how best to present your personal research to a doctor trying to assit you with your ailments. In short, an informed patient is absolutely a good thing to be, but be willing to listen to your doctor since they are observing the uniqueness of the situation of being exactly you.

Determining the Value of Compromising Your Privacy

An article from Engadget

Nathan Botts 0 1148 Article rating: No rating

This article from the Engadget web magazine discusses how your online searching behaviors might be monitored by different companies that you are unaware about. This data is likely used to build profiles that may impact the advertisements you see, credit ratings received, and other potential social network aspects as of yet identified. 

Stay Private: How to Hide Your Webcam, Mute Your Mic, and Turn Off Notifications

An article from Zapier

Nathan Botts 0 3000 Article rating: 5.0

One consideration as you gather and store more personal health information on your computer and devices is making sure that you are not inadvertently sharing this information (or some other aspect of your personal health) through your webcam or mic.

This article from Zapier outlines several different ways and some handy applications that can help you control this on your PC or MAC.

Guidance on Controlling the Twitter Messages you see and the Notifications you Receive

Protect your mental health from the trolls of social media

Retrieved By Health eConsultation 0 3457 Article rating: No rating

You are impacted by the things you see and read whether you like it or not. It can be hard to erase from your mind undesirable images or messages you receive and they can cause much angst, anger, doubt and grief.

Twitter has recently posted a set of instructions on how you can control what you see on twitter, the conversations you are a part of and the types of notifications you receive.

Take action and mute bad messages so they don't impact you negatively. There is a wealth of good information out there that will engage your mind both positively and critically without exposing you to harm from trolls who are out to manipulate you.

How to Protect Your Privacy as More Apps Harvest Your Data

A New York Times Personal Tech series article by Brian X. Chen

Retrieved By Health eConsultation 0 3095 Article rating: 5.0

In this article written by Brian X. Chen from the New York Times he discusses some of the potential ways in which mobile apps that you download to your phone may be collecting and using your personal data in ways you did not know.

One of the key takeaways is that there are ways in which to protect yourself and tools that can help you figure out which apps are collecting your data and how to remove their ability to do so.

NYTimes Explains How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware Attacks

Personal Health Data Security

Nathan Botts 0 2867 Article rating: No rating

In this article from the New York Times guidance is provided on how to protect people's own personal data from Ransomware attacks such as the Wannacry virus that has been circulating lately. Wikipedia describes ransomware as a type of malicious software that blocks access to data or threatens to publish it until a ransom is paid. Simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse. More advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion, in which it encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.

Everything you need to know about the WannaCry / Wcry / WannaCrypt ransomware

Nathan Botts 0 5106 Article rating: No rating

I woke up to a flood of news about ransomware today. By virtue of being down here in Australia, a lot happens in business hours around the world while we're sleeping but conversely, that's given me some time to collate information whilst everyone else is taking a break. The WannaCry incident is both new and scary in some ways and more of the same old stuff in others. Here's what I know and what the masses out there need to understand about this and indeed about ransomware in general.

Medical Device Failure

How Data Can Help Us Prevent It

Nathan Botts 0 2235 Article rating: No rating

From the Healthcare Triage YouTube video page:

You can directly support Healthcare Triage on Patreon: http://vid.io/xqXr If you can afford to pay a little every month, it really helps us to continue producing great content.Things sometimes go wrong with airbags, food and drugs, prompting recalls. It can also happen with medical devices, though you'd think lifesaving devices like heart defibrillators or artificial hips would be closely monitored.

But the data needed to systematically and rapidly identify dangerous medical devices are not routinely collected in the United States. Why not? It wouldn't be that hard to do.

When Information Storage Gets Under Your Skin

An article from the Wall Street Journal

Nathan Botts 0 2523 Article rating: 4.0

From the WSJ article:

Some people list emergency contacts on an implanted tag. And others see potential for the use of the tags in medicine, though one big challenge needs to be addressed for those visions to become reality: Medical personnel or anyone else trying to help someone in a medical or emergency situation will need to have some way to know that the person they’re trying to help has potentially lifesaving information available under his or her skin.

HIPAA Access Infographic

An ONC HIPAA Access Poster

Nathan Botts 0 4447 Article rating: 5.0

From the HealthIT.Gov website: 

This infographic, titled Your Health Information, Your Rights, was created by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

Patient Engagement Playbook

A Health Care Provider Resource from the ONC

Nathan Botts 0 1910 Article rating: No rating

From the HealthIT.gov website:

Use the Patient Engagement Playbook as your guide. The Playbook is an evolving resource for providers, practice staff, hospital staff, and other innovators: a compilation of tips and best practices we’re collecting from providers and health systems like yours.

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