Discovery has its i on you

Discovery has its i on you

An intriguing medical ethics debate has been sparked by Apple’s digital tablet.

Hundreds of doctors in the country’s three main cities last month queued up for a discounted Discovery Health iPad boasting a multi-purpose application revolutionising administration and patient management – as the company rushed to address misgivings raised by a Stellenbosch University bio-ethics professor.

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Submitted by : Donn Edwards of ALDARA PARK on 2012-08-14 18:27:48
After meeting with the COO, Dr Ryan Noach and 4 other executives today, I have managed to gain one concession from Discovery Health: they agreed to remove my medical history permanently from their web site. This isn't available for everyone (yet), only if you kick up enough fuss. Phone their call centre and ask for it to be done. If they refuse, or duck and dive, then ask to be put through to the COO. And be sure to ask for the name of the luckless call centre agent who refuses, and note the time of your call.

My blog ("Insights and Rants") has more details of the meeting for anyone interested.

Editor's Note
One man who knows how to get things done... Congratulations Donn.
Submitted by : Donn Edwards of ALDARA PARK on 2012-08-08 16:17:17
After badgering their CEO and blogging about my concerns, I am proposing the following changes to their system, to ensure basic security:
1. Every time I log in to I want an email notification of my login, exactly like FNB does.
2. I want to see a list of the date and time of the last 5 logins on the opening screen after login. Just like FNB does.
3. When I go to the HealthID Consent Manager on their web site, at present I can select "I agree to the terms and conditions". I want a further option that says "I do NOT agree to the terms and conditions, and wish to keep my electronic medical history private"
4. I want this option enabled by default.
5. If I provide my Discovery user name and password to the iPad app, Discovery will send an SMS to my phone with an authorisation code. I then fill in the code into the app to allow that particular doctor access. FNB does something similar on their banking site with particular transactions.
6. On subsequent visits to the doctor, Discovery will SMS me an authorisation code that I then give to the doctor so he can view my profile for the rest of that day.

Like Dr Moodley at Stellenbosh University, I think the privacy issues and disclosure issues need to be addressed. But until the security concerns are addressed, there isn't much point.

I would also like Discovery to warn users not to use the same password that they use on other sites. This is responsible security practice. Right now they don't even warn you if you have a weak password. They allowed me to choose "passw0rd" for their site. WTF!?

Editor's Note
You WISH Don, you WISH...
Submitted by : Donn Edwards of ALDARA PARK on 2012-08-06 14:56:21
I cancelled my Life Insurance with Discovery when I discovered that they could access my medical history, and thereby adjust my premiums at any time. So this latest invasion of my privacy comes as no surprise.

Why does my dentist need to know I have been to a marriage counsellor, a psychiatrist and a psychologist, and whether I take Viagra or not? Is that going to give me better teeth? And why does my optometrist need to know how many fillings I've had or what tablets I'm taking for my irregular heartbeat?

What I want to know is "what were they thinking?"
Submitted by : Pete Swanepoel of MONTCLAIR on 2012-07-11 15:56:08
But we can TRUST Discovery! Like we could TRUST Google's "Do no evil" promise. And we could TRUST facebook to ONLY share with our real friends.
Right . . . !
Discovery, like Google and facebook, would invent a "good reason" to share your info with government, police, banks, insurance, estate agents, etc in a heartbeat.
Submitted by : Andre Louw on 2012-06-30 08:22:08
Discovery is to be congratulated on the implementation of this technology to facilitate and expedite patient care.

The concern regarding; privacy to patient benefit ratio is overblown. I do not care who knows what about my state of health as long as it is accurate and will help those health practitioners in their task.

Andre Louw
Submitted by : Jon Quirk of Limpopo on 2012-06-27 09:10:12
I see immense benefits and would not be uncomfortable with my entire medical history being available to my doctor or any healthcare professional interested in my well-being.

I agree that there may be others to whom you might not wish this information to be known, but given my health and health history, my genetic data might be of considerable benefit in enhancing, and minting health of myself and family, I believe squeamishness about perhaps past STD or psychiatric treatments to be misplaced; perhaps these safe the histories that are MOST pertinent to family and future family?

On the other hand I might be reluctant to have "Big Brother" National Health/ANC/Government having ANY information on anything other than a no-names basis as by their actions they have done little or nothing to engender the necessary degree of confidence and trust - witness the way that the CIO, security and Police are manipulated to personal ends by our President and those whom would unseat him - low, unprincipled villains all.


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