Health Tech: CNET Shadows The Economist
Teaching Information Privacy is simply fantastic. The law and issues force students to consider torts, contracts, criminal procedure, constitutional law, and more. The health and genetic privacy material alone could easily be a course unto itself. Health care has been a major policy matter for more than a decade, and yet, it has not suffered the usual let’s move on to the next hot topic pattern that specific health matters such as HIV/AIDS and more recently H1N1. One area that is coming is so-called e-health. CNET is hosting a three day series on “Your e-health future.” The series looks at digital health records, Microsoft and Google’s forays into the sector, some fundamentals about e-health, stimulus, and so on. I plan on reading the different parts but based on the bits I’ve scanned, it is a little thin. In contrast, The Economist’s special report “Medicine Goes Digital” from April was stimulating and informative. I highly recommend the series of articles. The basic premise, “The convergence of biology and engineering is turning health care into an information industry,” relates to something I have been working on for a while: the way in which the merging of humans and machines (some call this possibility the singularity) poses problems that relate to intellectual property and privacy in much the same way being online did and continues to pose problems. These changes are coming. The question, and my hope, is that for once the law will be ahead of the curve as technology foments a fundamental change in the way we live.
Image: “Fieldbook of medicine (1517). Treatment of a skull injury. Wood cut work attributed to Hans Wechtlin.”
License: Public Domain