Patient data might be the biggest business you’ve never heard of.
As a STAT investigation published Monday revealed, data brokers are quietly trafficking in Americans’ health information — often without their knowledge or consent, and beyond the reach of federal health privacy laws. This market in medical records has become highly lucrative — $13.5 billion annually — thanks to advances in artificial intelligence that enable the slicing, dicing, and cross-referencing of that data in powerful new ways.
But the building of these algorithms often sidelines patient privacy. And researchers who’ve been tracking these erosive effects say it’s time to reform how health data is governed and give patients back control of their information.
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