This past summer Dr. Ira Nash decided to have a cardiac monitor the size of a USB stick implanted into his chest. After living with a heart condition for years, the 59-year-old New York cardiologist decided he wanted a better window into his health. The implant, he knew, would generate a detailed, real-time portrait of his heart’s behavior.
He went forward with the surgery, and as he was lying in the hospital recovering, he asked a technician who worked for the device’s maker, Medtronic, how he could get access to the data. He was shocked by the response: Patients aren’t allowed to see device data.