Bipartisan senators despatched letters to telehealth suppliers Monument, Workit Health and Cerebral urging the businesses to higher shield customers’ healthcare information.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) expressed concerns that the businesses are “monitoring and sharing delicate and personally-identifiable well being information with third-party social media and on-line search platforms reminiscent of Google and Fb that monetize this information to focus on ads,” citing a report from STAT and The Markup.
The senators highlighted the rising use of telehealth, saying sufferers ought to perceive how and why their information is getting used earlier than it’s shared with “the world’s largest promoting ecosystems.”
The senators requested for readability in regards to the digital well being corporations’ information sharing practices, together with a request for an entire listing of questions customers are requested on every platform. In addition they requested for a listing of third events who’ve accessed info that may very well be recognized with a single consumer. The digital well being corporations have till Feb. 10 to reply.
“We take affected person privateness very severely and share the senators’ ideas in regards to the significance of privateness of affected person info. We’re working diligently to reply their essential questions and are within the strategy of responding. We stay dedicated to working with different accountable events to ascertain clear pointers regarding the evolving applied sciences that enhance the supply of psychological healthcare,” a Cerebral spokesperson informed MobiHealthNews in an e mail.
“At Workit Well being, defending our members’ privateness is and at all times has been certainly one of our most essential priorities. We respect the Senate’s consideration to the best way monitoring applied sciences are utilized in digital well being, as privateness is a core a part of our ethos and one of many causes our co-founders created a discreet on-line program. This letter creates a chance to broach a dialog extra broadly about customary trade practices in healthcare at massive, and we’re responding to the letter with the attentive diligence it calls for,” a Workit Well being spokesperson stated.
Monument didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
THE LARGER TREND
The letter comes as digital well being corporations are going through elevated scrutiny about their information sharing practices.
Final week, the Federal Trade Commission launched a grievance alleging GoodRx had shared shoppers’ private well being info with third events like Google and Fb. The drug price transparency platform and telehealth firm agreed to pay a $1.5 million high-quality to settle the case.
For the reason that Dobbs determination that overturned Roe v. Wade was issued, privateness specialists have raised concerns about how private information may very well be used, particularly relating to reproductive well being and period-tracking apps.