Corporations Want Your Health Records. Who’s Keeping Them Safe?

Big Business has moved into managing patients’ health files, but privacy laws haven’t kept pace, advocates say. Part of a series.

Andrew MacLeod 10 Sep 2020 | TheTyee.ca
Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria and the author of All Together Healthy (Douglas & McIntyre, 2018). Find him on Twitter or reach him at amacleod@thetyee.ca

For corporations like Telus and Well Health moving into providing primary health care, the real opportunity may be in using their new relationship with patients to build other parts of their businesses, particularly as providers of digital health records.

That’s the assessment of Rita McCracken, a family doctor who practises in East Vancouver, who provides care in a nursing home and teaches at the University of British Columbia. She sees a longer-term strategy playing out.

“Do you think Telus thinks it’s going to get rich on the fee-for-service fees, or do you think they’re much more interested in the incredibly rich health data that they’re able to acquire through acquisition of primary care?” she asked.

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