AMA's guide for restoring public trust in data sharing

The American Medical Association issued new privacy principles May 11 in response to Americans' burgeoning apprehension toward sharing health data.

The AMA's privacy principles give guidance on individuals' right to control, access and delete their personal health data. These new standards come as the pandemic is bringing about mass collection and dissemination of public health surveillance data to inform public health and government officials about the spread of COVID-19.

As the pandemic also forces a reliance on telehealth technology, many patients are growing concerned about how these platforms will protect the health data exchanged during virtual care appointments.

Of all healthcare stakeholders, Americans are most willing to share health data with physicians, according to a 2019 study from Stanford’s Center for Digital Health. They are least willing to share with technology companies that rely on data collection, as public distrust in these types of institutions continues to grow.

The goal of the privacy principles is to strengthen public trust so that Americans will be more willing to participate in data donation, the AMA said.

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