Advertising fever

The smart device privacy debate is readily apparent in Kinsa’s smart thermometers, which can connect to an app to track you or your child’s illness. Now this is all above-board, but this flu season Kinsa is being paid by Clorox to use that data. Got a lot of smart thermometers heading into the fever range in one zip code? You better bet that Clorox will be increasing its advertising in that area. Hospitals and pharmacies can also use that data to tell when it’s time to stock up on flu-related products. But how far does that go? Will your Alexa start to recommend adding cough drops to your cart if it detects a sore throat like this patent says they will?? Sorry, this InsightCity story ended up just being a bunch of questions.

Wearable members only

Major life insurer John Hancock has been offering its vitality program since 2015, which allows members to reduce their premiums if they meet their activity goals as tracked by a fitness wearable. But the company has ramped up its efforts to gather that data from its members in the past week—now John Hancock only offers life insurance plans that include the vitality program discounts. We’re wondering what is more valuable for the company: the health data they collect from their members, or fitter members that stick around to pay for policies longer? We’re also wondering how this thinking pans out in the future, will life insurers require everyone to buy an Iron Man-style suit that sends biometrics back to the insurer? Well, this writer can’t complain if there’s financing.

Please say you’re joking…please

Apologies to Luke Bryan (or maybe Luke Bryan should apologize to us?), but after you read this you’ll be less likely to think that “Most People Are Good.” Accenture recently released survey results from 912 employees of provider and payer organizations in the US and Canada. They found 18% of respondents would be willing to sell confidential data to unauthorized parties for as little as $500 to $1,000. What the…? Remember, these are employees of provider and payer organizations. 21% said they keep their user name and password written down next to their computer. C’mon Man. It gets worse when we move from hypothetical to reality where “24% of respondents said they know of someone in their organization who has sold their credentials or access to an unauthorized outsider.” To the 18% – “you’re just a bad person, all the way through to your core.”

And you thought HIPPA was tough

Apparently, pharma companies, CROs, and universities will have new EU privacy rules to contend with in about eight months. Great. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to all types of data, but it will have a special impact on clinical trials. According to Debra Diener, an attorney and Certified Information Privacy Professional. “Sensitive data now includes, under this regulation, genetic data, biometric data, that is a broader set of data than is covered by HIPAA.” InsightCity has to ask, if you’re a US-based pharma company or CRO, why conduct trials in Europe, why risk it? That said, the informed consent process definitely needs an overhaul. The GDPR indicates the IC must be unambiguous, with affirmative action by the individual. Hard to argue with that. So, sharpen your regulatory pencils and get ready.