Autonomía digital y tecnológica

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Salus.coop aims to legitimize citizens’ rights to control their own health records while facilitating data sharing to accelerate research innovation in healthcare.

Why is this important

The future of our health significantly relies upon the potential of combining, integrating and sharing health data from different sources. However, the decision to share one’s data requires sizing many risks, which include privacy, security, and even the potential misuse of data. Who do we trust to make these judgements? Although European citizens legally own their health data, in practice they often cannot access their data or control its use. This is hindering innovation in healthcare and slowing down research.

Amazon has launched a new service that uses machine learning to extract key data from patient records and can potentially help healthcare providers and researchers save money, make treatment decisions, and manage clinical trials. The company announced the service, called Amazon Comprehend Medical

Amazon’s other recent forays into healthcare include paying almost $1 billion to acquire online prescription service PillPack

It joins other large tech companies that are increasingly focused on healthcare. For example, earlier this year Apple launched a feature that lets customers view their hospital medical records on their iPhones, while Google recently hired former Geisinger CEO David Feinberg to unify and lead the healthcare initiatives across its businesses, including search, Google Brain, Google Fit, and Nest.

Of course, the uploading of medical records to the cloud for machine-learning analysis might questions from patients about how Comprehend Medical will ensure their privacy. Amazon says patient data is encrypted and can only be unlocked by customers who have a key, and that no data processed will be stored or used for training its algorithms. Comprehend Medical complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Google is reportedly working on an A.I.-based health and wellness coach.

Thanks to its spectrum of hardware products, Google would have a notable advantage over existing wellness coaching apps. While its coach, as reported, would primarily exist on smartwatches to start, Android Police noted that the company could include a smartphone counterpart as well. The company could also eventually spread it to Google Home or Android TV. The latter is unchartered territory for these kinds of apps, which are typically limited to smartphones and wearables. With availability in the home, lifestyle coaching recommendations could become increasingly contextual and less obtrusive. If you ask for a chicken parmesan dinner recipe, it could offer a healthier alternative instead; or if you’re streaming music at 10 p.m. and have set a goal to get more sleep, perhaps it could interrupt your music playback to remind you start getting ready for bed. A smartwatch or phone could do this too, of course, but by linking up its product ecosystem, Google could deliver helpful notifications in the context that makes the most sense.

Some high-income countries have lowered their guard and their immunization rates have dropped. In certain countries, confidence in vaccines has begun to fall.

In fact, France is the country with the lowest vaccine confidence level, according to the project The Vaccine Confidence 2016, carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for which 65,819 people were interviewed in 67 countries. 40% of French respondents (vs. an average of 12% worldwide) responded that they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the following statement: “Vaccines are safe”.