AMA: Nine in 10 Americans Want Their Health Info Kept Private

AMA survey unearthed concerns about data privacy protections and confusion about who can access personal health information

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TUESDAY, Aug. 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- More than nine in 10 Americans believe that medical privacy is a right and their health data should not be for sale, a new survey from the American Medical Association shows.

The survey unearthed concerns about data privacy protections and confusion about who can access personal health information. Nearly 75 percent of patients were concerned about protecting the privacy of personal health data, but only 20 percent were aware of the companies and individuals who had access to their data.

According to the survey, patients are most comfortable with their doctors and hospitals having access to their personal health information, while they are least comfortable with social media sites, employers, and technology companies having access.

A resounding majority of patients demand accountability, transparency, and control in relation to the privacy of their medical records. A full 94 percent of patients want companies to be held legally liable for how their health information is used. Patients share the same sentiment (93 percent) regarding the need for developers of health apps to be open about how their services use and distribute individual patient data. Patients want control over the information that companies collect about them and how it is used to prevent unauthorized access to and use of personal health data.

Furthermore, according to the results of the survey, nearly 80 percent of patients want the option to choose not to share any, some, or all of their health information with businesses; more than 75 percent of patients prefer to give their consent before a company uses any of their health data; and more than 75 percent of patients want to receive notifications before a company uses their health data for a new purpose.

Patients also want doctors and hospitals to be equipped with the technology to examine apps for security and privacy features.

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