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What is health data?

Anna’s medical journey continues. Watch how we follow her and explain some basic concepts based on her story.

In this video we follow Anna on her medical journey and explain some basic concepts based on her story. We see how many times she provides her healthcare providers with personal data which identify her as a person. Her General Practitioner for example identifies her by combining her date of birth and her last name. She also reveals her identity at the hospital reception and at the reception of the gynaecology department. Her doctors enter the data they collect from her by consulting with her and by doing various examinations in her medical file. These healthcare providers are bound by confidentiality as well as by data protection rules.

The General Data Protection Regulation determines what personal data entails and how it should be treated. Personal data is any information that can help to identify you as a person. In the GDPR health data is referred to as data concerning health, which is any personal data that reveals information about your health status. The result of Anna’s ultrasound for example is data concerning health. But not only information which falls under the doctor-patient relationship falls under this definition. The definition is very broad. The GDPR furthermore determines that data concerning health is a special category, which is also referred to as sensitive data.

Sensitive data gets more privacy protection, because it could have a great impact on your life if this data were freely available. We would like to know what your thoughts are on this. How could Anna’s life be impacted if her health data were freely available? Feel free to discuss this with other learners on the discussion board.

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Protecting Health Data in the Modern Age: Getting to Grips with the GDPR

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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