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HHS Finalizes Historic Rules to Provide Patients More Control of Their Health Data

Updated: May 24, 2020

On March 9, 2020, shortly before the states announced a lockdown, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized two transformative rules that will give patients unprecedented safe, secure access to their health data.

“Delivering interoperability actually gives patients the ability to manage their healthcare the same way they manage their finances, travel and every other component of their lives. This requires using modern computing standards and APIs that give patients access to their health information and give them the ability to use the tools they want to shop for and coordinate their own care on their smartphones,” said Don Rucker, MD, national coordinator for health information technology. “A core part of the rule is patients’ control of their electronic health information which will drive a growing patient-facing healthcare IT economy, and allow apps to provide patient-specific price and product transparency. ” Now that most of us are working from home, the problem of managing personal information is only becoming more acute. The ability to send data to a physician for a second opinion fast and securely, without leaving the house, is not just a convenience, but a necessity.

The Healthcare information today is not only medical records which are stored in databases, but a big unstructured data like MRIs and genomes stored in data lakes. Moreover, access to information should be available not only to people, but also to the programs and engines for data analytics through ML/AI.

Based on new HHS's rules, to ensure the patients' privacy, the process must be controlled by the patient and not, as it was before, by the medical data center only. The HHS rules, in particular, seek to address a pressing concern of medical data center insiders having access to the patients' data. Echoing this, Gartner estimates that in 2022 95% of data breaches will be due to insiders (malicious administrators and accidental breaches within the data centers). According to the IBM Security Report, the cost of each data breach in Healthcare is $6.45 millions, which makes it the most expensive industry for security flaws. About us: AltaStata toolkit, which can be implemented in hours, enables patient control of personal Big Data while removing insider threat by the system administrators. Our patented approach combines client side encryption, PKI and cloud data services orchestration. As a result, personal data is always encrypted at rest and on transit with a unique data key per each file, while data owner is able to share access with humans and programs for processing without degrading cloud performance and scalability.

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