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For the past year, Don Rucker has been in the middle of one of the biggest fights in American medicine — a pitched battle over a federal proposal to liberate patient health records currently housed in a byzantine network of outdated software systems.

Last Monday, Rucker, the Trump administration’s national coordinator for health information technology, rendered a stirring ruling: He said patients should own their health data; they should be able to easily access it on their smartphones; and they should be able to share it with whomever they wish.

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