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Legal and Regulatory Considerations Associated with Use of Patient-Generated Health Data from Social Media and Mobile Health (mHealth) Devices

Journal: Applied Clinical Informatics
ISSN: 1869-0327
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4338/ACI-2014-09-R-0082
Issue: Vol. 6: Issue 1 2015
Pages: 16-26

Legal and Regulatory Considerations Associated with Use of Patient-Generated Health Data from Social Media and Mobile Health (mHealth) Devices

Review

C. Petersen (1), P. DeMuro (2, 3)

(1) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA; (2) Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA; (3) Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, Seattle, Washington, USA

Keywords

Social media, mobile health, mobile apps, patient outcome assessment, legislation & jurisprudence

Summary

Patient-generated health data are coming into broader use across the health care spectrum and hold great promise as a means to improve care and health outcomes. At the same time, rapid evolution in the social media and mobile health (mHealth) market has promoted an environment in which creation and transmission of personal health information is easy, quick, and appealing to patients. However, adoption of social media and mHealth by providers is hampered by legal and regulatory concerns with regard to data ownership and data use. This article defines common forms of patient-generated health data (PGHD) and describes how PGHD is used in clinical settings. It explores issues related to protection of personal health information, including that of children and adolescents, data security, and other potential barriers such as physician licensure. It also discusses regulatory and legal considerations providers and patients should consider before using social media and mobile health apps.

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