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It can be hard to fathom that anyone other than you might own your information. But they do. Everything from what’s in your electronic medical record to the average jogging speed recorded on an app may be someone else’s property.

For a profit, the magic is in the aggregate. Innumerable hospitals, corporations, and apps are tracking their patients and users.  But that information is worth more than money. On an individual scale, it’s valuable information that paints a full picture of health for individuals and their health care providers.

Data designer Juhan Sonin and public health professional Annie Lakey Becker explain why it’s important to fight for patient ownership of health data across the country and the world. 


“Most of my time should not be thinking about health data, to be perfectly frank. It should be just about living my damn life,” Sonin said. “And that, to me, is the real movement here.”

The conversation stems from a First Opinion by Sonin, Becker, and their colleague Kim Nipp, “It’s time for individuals — not doctors or companies — to own their health data.”


Be sure to sign up for the weekly “First Opinion Podcast” on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

And if you have any feedback for us — First Opinion authors to feature on the podcast, vocal mannerisms the host needs to jettison, kudos or darts — email us at [email protected] and please put “podcast” in the subject line.

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