Let’s Pool Our Medical Data

When you’re getting medical treatment, or taking part in medical testing, privacy is important; strict laws limit what researchers can see and know about you. But what if your medical data could be used — anonymously — by anyone seeking to test a hypothesis? John Wilbanks wonders if the desire to protect our privacy is slowing research, and if opening up medical data could lead to a wave of health care innovation.

In his 16 minute TED talk, Wilbanks shares the story of Carlos Finlay from the 1800s who believed yellow fever was not transmitted by dirty clothing like everyone else at the time. It wasn’t until 20 years later, thanks to clinical studies whereby informed consent was given, did he manage to prove to everyone the real source of yellow fever. This is worth noting, as Wilbanks continues, because he says that “it turns out that what we think of as our health is more like the interaction of our bodies, our genomes, our choices, and our environment. And the clinical methods that we’ve got aren’t very good at studying that because they are based on the idea of person-to-person interaction.”

Ultimately John Wilbanks makes the point that today, we have trials and studies on things like prostate cancer where all the information is withheld where access to that information is hindered by red tape, consequential of privacy agreements, an incidental consequence of protecting people’s privacy even after the trial is over and they’ve passed away. What that basically means is that “We cannot take the information from past trials and put them together to form statistically significant samples.”

Hear the rest of his talk below or watch the video at TED.com or read the transcript. We believe one of the greatest lessons in life we all learn at some point is to learn from our own mistakes and so it’s not too unfamiliar to also learn from the mistakes of others. Generally, it only stands to benefit ourselves if we can take a lesson from someone else. But don’t get us wrong, you have every right to your privacy and opting to share your anonymous data is not required to be protected by A-MEDiCARE’s blockchain technologies. Additionally, your medical data will always be available to your doctor and choosing to opt in would be to allow our A.I. to add your anonymized data to its data pool of calculations.


…and Make Health Care a Team Sport

When Eric Dishman was in college, doctors told him he had 2 to 3 years to live. That was a long time ago. Now, Dishman puts his experience and his expertise as a medical tech specialist together to suggest a bold idea for reinventing health care — by putting the patient at the center of a treatment team. Watch his TED@Intel Talk here.