80 Percent Of Patients Worry About Health Data Security

By Bruce Jaspen, Contributor to Forbes, December 4th 2014 

Though 2015 will begin to show the U.S. health industry as a “true market” a new report indicates consumers remain concerned about medical technology and the security of their health information and data.

A new report released today at the Forbes Healthcare Summit by PwC’s Health Research Institute shows U.S. patients concerned about the digital age, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers who were interviewed. The report comes as millions more Americans are gaining health coverage under the Affordable Care Act and the $2.8 trillion U.S. health care sector undergoes major transformation.

Nearly 70 percent of those who responded say they are concerned about health data via their smart phones and 78 percent are concerned about medical data security in general, PwC’s report, linked here, shows.

Despite these concerns, however, PwC’s report indicates consumers are ready to take more charge of their health care and so-called “do-it-yourself” healthcare working with doctors and other providers who will assist them with care in the home and other remote patient-monitoring, the survey indicates.

“Established healthcare companies and new entrants are rapidly developing cost-efficient products and services tailored directly to consumers,” said Kelly Barnes, PwC partner and US health industries leader.

Consumers are ready for medical care providers other than physicians to deliver their care, which is good news for companies like Walgreen WAG +1.03% (WAG), CVS Health (CVS), Wal-Mart (WMT) and others. PwC said 75 percent of their survey respondents were open to “extenders” like pharmacists and nurse practitioners delivering their care.