Take a look at what the leading data broker, IQVIA (with a market cap of $20 billion), boasts to have:
It's no exaggeration to assume that all your health providers are reselling all your medical data to brokers like IQVIA.
Nearly all information is sold—your disease diagnoses, what drugs you take for which conditions, what your most recent lab tests say, who your doctors are and when you saw them. Every vendor you interact with to get medical service is able to sell medical data. Reselling data is a high-margin business, and thus tantalizing for managers to add to their bottom line. Companies you interact with that sell your data include pharmacies, medical providers, and insurers.
The only restriction they have by HIPAA law is to remove identifying information like your name, address, and Social Security Number, instead creating a unique personal code for you.
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Our Bodies, Our Data contains a useful history of how resold medical data became increasingly personal and detailed.
The overall trend over the past decades is toward 1) more granular data consisting of more detail about a patient’s history, 2) data linked to distinct providers and patients, and 3) piecing together large datasets longitudinally across time. A few examples:
1930s: Nielsen pays pharmacies to share wholesale invoices every 2 months to project overall US sales. Staffers also count products on shelves to monitor sales rates....
Every vendor you interact with to get medical service is able to sell medical data. Reselling data is a high-margin business, and thus tantalizing for managers to add to their bottom line. Our Bodies, Our Data describes the following data sources:
What is enabled by having hundreds of millions of patient records?
Many pharma business decisions can be empowered by granular data on which patients take which drugs in which locations. Research studies are also empowered by large datasets.
The risk is that more unsavory, discriminatory uses can arise.
Here’s an array of how different types of firms can use medical data for their own purposes.
The book describes the following major players in the medical data industry.
IMS Health (now known as IQVIA)
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Here are forces that have propelled patient data selling over the past decades:
Here is a collection of notes about the healthcare industry that frame strategy.