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Watch Talk – Increasing Trust in the E-Health Environment: Privacy Mechanisms and Policy Problems

March 12th, 2014 / in Uncategorized / by Shar Steed

WATCHOn March 20 at noon EST, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will host it’s next Washington Area Trustworthy Computing Hour (WATCH) talk.  Maya Bernstein, from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will give a talk titled Increasing Trust in the E-Health Environment: Privacy Mechanisms and Policy Problems. Maya Bernstein has been the Privacy Advocate of HHS for nine years. She is the senior advisor on privacy policy in the Office of the Secretary.

Growing pressure on the health sector to increase quality of care, improve outcomes, and reduce costs is driving industry toward widespread adoption of electronic health records, the sharing of patient information electronically, and storage of information in the cloud. Public Health and scientific researchers are also anxious to gain access to these potential new sources of data to map population health trends, understand disease processes, and produce scientific evidence of effective interventions. However, if patients are not confident that the mechanisms by which doctors or researchers collect, use, and share personal health information are respectful of their privacy, they may not be candid about their physical and behavioral symptoms, lifestyle choices, or other social determinants of health. Candor about these intimate details, willingness to submit oneself to examination, and recording of data are necessary precedents to maintenance of the individual’s health, but without these, the public health is also at increased risk.


What types of mechanisms are being considered or should be implemented to increase trust in the expanding electronic health care and health research environment? We will explore computational, ethical, and policy issues that arise from several mechanisms proposed by HHS advisory committees and industry.


The talk will be webcast.

Future WATCH talks include:

  • Apr 17 2014: Deb Frincke, National Security Agency
  • May 15 2014: Dan Wallach, Rice University
  • Jul 17 2014: Crispin Cowan, Microsoft
Watch Talk – Increasing Trust in the E-Health Environment: Privacy Mechanisms and Policy Problems

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