News Perspectives

Study: People Care about Uses of Medical Data

People may be more willing to share their health records for research than for marketing, a new study finds. In this study, how the records would be used mattered more to people than whether they gave consent. The study included more than 3,000 people. Researchers presented them with examples of ways that medical data could be used. All of the examples involved an analysis of thousands of medical records. This analysis picked out the people with diabetes and what drugs they took. In different scenarios, the information was obtained with or without the person's consent. It was used either for research (to improve care) or for marketing (to help sell a diabetes drug). People were asked what they thought about each use of the information. A score of 10 was the most appropriate use and 1 was the least. The lowest scores (3.81) were for using information for marketing without consent.

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