Tag Archives: health data

Now Apple gets it too – the importance of owning your own health data

The importance of owning your personal data on your terms is of critical importance to us here at digi.me.

And health data is front and centre of that, which is why we have just launched a living lab in Iceland, allowing citizens there to download an electronic version of their health record. Exciting stuff and a world first – but mainly incredibly useful for all sorts of reasons.

Holding your own data so you can do more with it guides everything we do, so we were delighted that Apple is apparently working along the same lines as us.

According to this report: “CNBC has learned that a secretive team within Apple’s growing health unit has been in talks with developers, hospitals and other industry groups about bringing clinical data, such as detailed lab results and allergy lists, to the iPhone, according to a half-dozen people familiar with the team. And from there, users could choose to share it with third parties, like hospitals and health developers.”

As with digi.me, the applications for work like this are legion, ranging from simply having all your health data at your fingertips whenever you need it, to speeding up information sharing between different medical organisations and cutting out major time and frustrations for referrals.

The health service is ripe for reform, and health data is at the centre of that. So any work done in this arena is a boost to all, with the potential for truly universal benefits.

 

Digi.me allowing Icelandic citizens to download their own health data in world first

Digi.me’s unique personal data technology has allowed Iceland to become the first country in the world to make a digital copy of their health data available to its citizens.

The digi.me app is powering this innovative and collaborative living lab project, with the aim of giving users greater insight and control over their health and treatment, through having instant access to their own information which is stored in a secure, private library on their devices.

Open to every Icelander, this new initiative follows an Open Notes study with more than 13m participants in the US that showed simply giving access to health data leads to healthier living and reduced healthcare spending, through empowering patients and building stronger relationships with medical professionals.

Data including prescriptions and medications, vaccinations, allergies and medical admissions will be available to citizens who take part in the living lab instantly, and the project has the full support of the country’s Directorate of Health (DoH), which worked with local companies to develop an API to integrate with digi.me

A DoH spokesman said: “We hope that helping our citizens take more control over their health will have positive benefits for both them and our healthcare system as a whole.”

The living lab, which is a test bed prior to roll-out to other countries, is run by digi.me’s partner Dattaca Labs. Iceland was chosen because it is an exceptionally privacy-aware, tech-savvy and forward-looking nation, and the living lab environment will be used to further develop the digi.me app, as well as promote Iceland as an ideal incubator environment for businesses looking to test new products.

Julian Ranger, Founder and Executive Chairman of digi.me, said: “This is a significant moment for us at digi.me, but more importantly for individuals who will now be in control of their data and can gain more benefits from it.

The personal data ecosystem that results also benefits businesses, Government and society as a whole, and Iceland will lead the way in showing these benefits to a watching world wanting a privacy-enabled solution that allows us all to do more with personal data.”

Financial data will soon also be available for those in the living lab to download, thanks to major Icelandic banks also seeing the value of unlocking the power of personal data, with wearables data also coming imminently.

Digi.me has been making headlines for its personal data tool, which under a new release due shortly will allow additional data streams to be added, and shared with businesses for personalised rewards and services under a bespoke Consent Access process. It last year completed a Series A raise, where investors included Swiss Re and Omidyar Network.

Dattaca Labs is working with government and local Icelandic businesses and multi-nationals to create innovative services across a wide range of industries, including healthcare, finance and telecommunications. Its goal is to attract a wide range of companies and entrepreneurs to Iceland to develop innovative solutions in the health tech, fin tech and IoT spaces.

Personal data has an image problem – and that’s an issue for all of us

Big data is everywhere and supposedly the salve for every problem – but it’s also a noted security issue, something that can be used against us – and both of these mask its real benefits.

That’s the essential premise of this excellent article in The Huffington Post, which looks at why consumers are currently running scared of their data and not using it to its full potential.

As the author Guy Marson explains, bad news travels fast and so large-scale hacks such as Yahoo and TalkTalk are disproportionately elevated in the public consciousness. This means that potential good news stories about what benefits sharing data can bring for consumers find it significantly harder to get traction, reinforcing fears.

To quote Marson: “It’s a crying shame that the potential and opportunities of using data is not well known by the average Joe on the street.

“Our future is going to be built on data and increasing numbers of businesses are currently waking up to that fact. We just need to make sure that as we get more data-savvy, we need to bring the public along with us before they rock those foundations and bring it all crashing down around us.”

We all have a responsibility to educate consumers on the many ways in which data can be used for good – healthcare innovation, for one.

As Marson also points out: “There is definitely some give and take when using consumer data. Unfortunately, in our current climate, it seems customers get told more about the take and less about what data gives them.

“We all hate junk mail, and better use of data by business will practically do away with the spam clogging up our inboxes. At the same time, who wouldn’t be pleased to receive promotions and rewards offered exclusively to them at a time when they needed it?”

While data is certainly widely misused much of the time today, fast-evolving customer attitudes to privacy as well as incoming legislation such as the GDPR in 2018 will change that.

And the opportunity to own, and share if we choose, our own data once again will be a watershed moment.

Personal data is the new oil, the new industry megalith – but it’s one that each of us will ultimately own and control, and it will be a better world for all of us when that comes about.

digi.me and the Internet of Me is all about user centricity

There’s been a lot of buzz around ‘user centricity’ lately, as a technology megatrend that will unite all others before it.

It stems from an excellent post by Andy Weissman of USV, where he expands on the theme of people being the CEO of their own health, with doctors as their consultants.

As he says, and we agree wholeheartedly with, technology is becoming more and more personal – and people expect that to extend to every area of their lives, including how they manage their health.

In short, they want to be at the centre of their medical universe – and with an increasing number of phone apps that can do actual medical tests and track the likes of fertility, there’s clear evidence that this is already starting to happen.

Aggregrating different streams of information to provide a whole more useful and insightful than the sum of its parts is our guiding vision here at digi.me.

As part of that, we will shortly be giving users the ability to add full health and financial data to their personal data libraries, making them a more rounded and complete picture of their owners’ lives. And with it the ability to do more with that data as well as be in control of it. More data streams will then follow.

Uniting lots of common technological themes and magnifying them is what makes user centricity a megatrend. So platforms such as digi.me, which unlocks the power of personal data for the benefit of users and consumers, and the Internet of Me which seeks to put users at the centre of their connected lives are both prime examples of user centricity, writ large and actually in existence in lives today.

Andy goes on to note: “What is happening may be that the components of medical care are being reordered into something new – patient demanded and patient centric. Defined by the user and user needs…The thing that ties all these together is putting the user – the consumer of the healthcare – at the center of the universe and building out from there.”

User centricity is a growing trend and belief that we can expect to see and hear more and more of in every aspect of our lives, as industries of all kinds acknowledge the power people have in their phones, their data and the associated personal data stores they create, and work with that rather than against it.

And because user centricity is a trend that each of us will be part of and benefit from, we look forward to that happening sooner rather than later.