Use of Personal Health Record Data for Patient Recruitment and Marketing Purposes
8 May 2009
A personal health record or PHR is typically a health record that is initiated and maintained by an individual. An ideal PHR would provide a complete and accurate summary of the health and medical history of an individual by gathering data from many sources and making this information accessible online to anyone who has the necessary electronic credentials to view the information.
By combining better Internet search tools, the vast resources of the Web and online personal health records, both Google and Microsoft are betting they can enable people to make smarter choices about their health habits and medical care.
But data within PHRs also can be used to target advertising to specific segments of people. For example, clinical trial recruitment ads can be served up only to people whose PHR indicates that he/she is a qualified candidate. Similarly, drug ads can be served to people whose PHR indicates they may have the medical condition for which the drug is approved but who currently have not been prescribed the drug or who have been prescribed a competing drug.
The survey asks repondents how strongly they agree or disagree with the following statements:
- Appropriate use of data in personal health records for clinical trial recruitment is a win-win for patients and pharmaceutical companies.
- Personal health record data used in aggregate form for targeted search engine advertising is acceptable.
- The privacy and/or HIPAA risks are too significant to allow the use of PHR data — even in aggregated form — for marketing purposes.
- For the foreseeable future, online PHRs will not be used by enough consumers to be of benefit to pharmaceutical marketers.