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Big bucks are driving big data

Modern Healthcare, 7/7/14

The current rage for building, selling and using “bedside analytics” and big-data technologies is all about financial gain for investors and corporations, it is not about the best interests of the public.
Whatever advances the Kaiser technology offers are all proprietary and hidden. Nothing is tested/vetted scientifically by other academic experts. I've written before about Mayo's Bedside Analytics—it's the exact same thing—all secret.
The privatization of the science of medicine and the privatization of research in medicine are an incredibly bad development for the people of the U.S. This is not the case in Europe or other Western nations. Only in the U.S. does money trump science and the greater good.
In the past, U.S. medicine advanced via science: research data and results/conclusions were always openly shared, vetted and tested by other researchers. Advances in knowledge were always shared for the greater good.
The practices of medicine and nursing in the U.S. used to be “professions” with ethics that required physicians and nurses to put patients' needs and interests first, ahead of their own personal interests. The underlying idea was that advances in medicine belong in the public domain. Suppose Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin had privatized their research and the resulting injected and oral polio vaccinations? If profit had always been the motive of medicine and nursing, would these professions have ever gained the public's trust?
Now the National Nurses United opposes the use of these technologies. Bravo!
Where is the comparable response from any medical professional organization? So far, there is none.
Dr. Deborah C. Peel
Patient Privacy Rights
Austin, Texas


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