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What patients really think about the use of their private data

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Article

Health care organizations must balance data sharing with patient privacy concerns

Health care organizations must balance sharing data with privacy concerns: ©Amazing Studio - stock.adobe.com

Health care organizations must balance sharing data with privacy concerns: ©Amazing Studio - stock.adobe.com

A survey conducted in September 2023 and involving 1,001 American adults, highlights the expectations and concerns of individuals regarding the secure sharing and management of their personal data.

The survey, conducted by software firm Axway, found that more than 60% of Americans express a desire for their personal data to be securely shared with health care providers and third-party financial service organizations. However, a significant portion (56%) of respondents admitted to not knowing where their data is stored, emphasizing a critical gap in consumer awareness regarding data handling, according to the report.

In the realm of open banking, over 60% of Americans view it positively, reflecting a growing acceptance of digital financial services. Similarly, 62% of respondents express a desire for health care providers to share their health records with other providers, indicating a demand for enhanced interoperability in the health care sector.

Despite these positive sentiments, the survey underscores a prevalent lack of transparency, with 87% of respondents expressing a wish to understand the data collected about them by companies. The data further reveals that trust in the protection of private information varies across industries, with banking and financial services leading at 57%, followed by health care and lifesciences (42%), and insurance (33%). Transportation and logistics received the least trust at 16%.

In the wake of cybersecurity concerns, 57% of respondents asserted that they would cease transactions with companies experiencing cyberattacks or data breaches until the issues were resolved, underscoring the high stakes for businesses in maintaining robust cybersecurity measures.

Brian Otten, vice president of Digital Transformation Catalysts at Axway, commented on the survey results, emphasizing the challenge companies face in balancing digital experiences with secure data management across various industries. Otten stated, "Companies need to bridge the gap between efficient API consumption and opening data in such a way that users are pleased with the digital experience and also trust that their data is being used with discretion and with their consent."

The survey results also highlight a growing trust in companies being transparent about online data usage (53%), with app tracking transparency empowering Americans with more control over their data sharing. However, 84% of respondents expressed a desire to trust mobile apps and websites more if they could block access to their personal data at any moment.

As industries evolve in the digital landscape, understanding and addressing these consumer expectations will be crucial for building and maintaining trust in the digital sphere, according to the report.

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