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In The News: The Malay Mail Online. Big data in healthcare: What we (need to) know

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 ― The use of big data analytics to document, track and forecast trends is becoming increasingly popular and commonplace in every industry with the goal of increasing productivity and efficiency.

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“The latter (shared patient records) will raise a lot of privacy issues. The former as what MyHDW publicly says it is doing, should not raise many privacy issues. If implemented properly, it should help MoH with better policy making, for example knowing which areas, clinics or hospitals require better campaigns and facilities for diabetes for example,” - Sinar Project

Excerpt from the Malay Mail Online:

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health (MoH) launched the Malaysian Health Data Warehouse (MyHDW), which aims to connect public and private hospitals as well as clinics in order to share a variety of information and knowledge including a patient’s medical records in a secured system.

According to MoH, MyHDW will synchronise patient data from public and private clinics and hospitals, including university hospitals and Armed Forces hospitals, as well as data from the National Registration Department (NRD), the Department of Statistics, and other “health-related agencies.”

In explaining the reason for MyHDW, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam described it as a one-stop centre for health-related data gathered from public and private hospitals which will eventually assist healthcare providers in making more educated decisions in the future treatment of patients.

Sinar Project insight: There is still a privacy risk should large amounts of the data is leaked or stolen. Data points such as sex, date of birth, health, race, disease and location of clinic, with joined up data such as fine grained demographic data can potentially allow profiling of individuals. As we store more and more personal data in private and public institutions there is increasing risk of large data breaches such as Red Cross in Australia. While there hasn't been any cases yet in Malaysia, we need to ensure data privacy regulations and practices are in place to reduce this risk of large data breeches as much as possible.

Source: SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL, The Malay Mail Online

Story Type: News

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