In preparation for a public roundtable scheduled for Dec. 3 (see story), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology seeks comment on four issues concerning personal health records. ONC's questions are:

1. Privacy and Security and Emerging Technologies: What privacy and security risks, concerns, and benefits arise from the current state and emerging business models of PHRs and related emerging technologies built around the collection and use of consumer health information, including mobile technologies and social networking?

2. Consumer Expectations about Collection and Use of Health Information: Are there commonly understood or recognized consumer expectations and attitudes about the collection and use of their health information when they participate in PHRs and related technologies? Is there empirical data that allows us reliably to measure any such consumer expectations?  What, if any, legal protections do consumers expect apply to their personal health information when they conduct online searches, respond to surveys or quizzes, seek medical advice online, participate in chat groups or health networks, or otherwise? How determinative should consumer expectations be in developing policies about privacy and security?

3. Privacy and Security Requirements for Non-Covered Entities: What are the pros and cons of applying different privacy and security requirements to non-covered entities, including PHRs, mobile technologies, and social networking?

4. Any Other Comments on PHRs and Non-Covered Entities: Do you have other comments or concerns regarding PHRs and other non-covered entities?

More information is available at Click on Event Details to submit comments. Your name and comments will be part of the public record of the roundtable, to be held at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington.

--Joseph Goedert


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