Patient-Generated Health Data

Precision Agriculture
March 10, 2020
Self-Sovereign Identity
March 10, 2020

Patient-Generated Health Data

Individuals are generating a trove of data that could contribute to their healthcare provider’s patient assessments and subsequent strategies.

Key Insight

Demand for patient data is on the rise. Hospital records contain sensitive personal information, and the ability to integrate that data with the latest-and-greatest technologies often means making that data accessible to tech companies.

Why It Matters

Individuals are generating a trove of data that could contribute to their healthcare provider’s patient assessments and subsequent strategies. Packaging all that data—and figuring out how to make use of it—is still a challenge.


From Google’s Fitbit, to Apple’s Watch and Airpods, to smart scales we use at home, there are hundreds of devices that can collect and monitor our health using various inputs. New software from companies like Validic allow doctors to collect this other data and incorporate it into their medical records—with patient consent. GE Healthcare, Meditech, Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, and Cerner are all building products to make better use of our data. We also generate data at the doctor’s office, and under federal law in the U.S., that data must be filed and stored electronically. The medical community and public health sector are now trying to find ways to make good use of all that information. Differential privacy measures could enable hospital systems to anonymize our private details while still making our data useful to researchers.

What’s Next

A challenge for tech companies is de-identifying our data so that our privacy is protected and federal regulations are met, and to free up that data for use in training A.I. systems. Safeguarding and maintaining vast genetic and personal health data will be paramount as consumers purchase their own genetic testing kits through third-party companies like 23andMe. On a near-weekly basis, hackers target hospitals and doctors, holding patient data for ransom.

In May 2017, hackers used the WannaCry malware to break into the UK’s National Health Service, crippling the nation’s hospitals and clinics. In January 2018, hackers used a remote access portal to break into a rural Indiana hospital and restrict access to patient data. They demanded four bitcoin to restore data access. The timing was awful: A serious ice storm had caused a spike in emergency room visits, and the community was battling a flu outbreak. The volume of patient data has sparked a new field within the life sciences business: patient data security. Veeva Systems builds tools that prevent unauthorized access.


Amazon, Allscripts, Apple, Cerner, eClinicalWorks, GE Healthcare, Google, HumanAPI, IBM, Manulife Financial, Medicaid, Medicare, Meditech, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Validic, Veeva Systems, Vivify, national health systems.