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Public cautious over use of health data

UK survey finds support for wearables - if information isappropriately

Health big dataPeople in the UK are largely in favour of wearing health monitors, but there's noticeable caution when it comes to how their personal data is used. 

That's according to consultants KPMG, whose recent survey of 1,000 people in the UK found that nearly three quarters would be happy to wear a device that monitors their health and sends reports to their GP.

However, just 7% said they would be happy for the same data to be shared with their employer, and most of those surveyed were also cautious about how their health data is processed. 

Only 8% said that they were happy for a private firm to have this responsibility and 60% said they would not want their health data, whether from an internet-connected fridge, smartwatch, or mobile phone, to be shared or stored.

Furthermore, less than half (48%) of respondents said that they would allow the NHS to add their medical records to a single national database that it can be accessed by any medical practitioner in the country. 

Caroline Rivett, director in KPMG's cyber security practice, said: “The survey highlights that although UK consumers are happy to use wearable devices to report their health statuses back to their GP, they are less than comfortable for the data to be shared and stored with other entities, including healthcare providers.”

Rivett believes that this is evidence of consumers having wearied of the intrusiveness of businesses they do not trust. 

“People do not want to feel like they are being 'tracked' for marketing purposes. Companies need to think long and hard about how they talk to their customers and potential customers, or there is a real risk they will become alienated rather than driving new business,” she concluded.

Article by
Tara Craig

28th September 2015

From: Healthcare

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