Health Data Rights Moves Health Care into the 21st Century

medical recordsSweeping changes are on the way in the health care industry. The details will be hashed out by politicians, but we the people can collectively express our opinions on what changes we are passionate about. If one group of health advocates has its way, our health care will finally move fully into the 21st century.

Health Data Rights, an all-volunteer group, is pushing the health care industry to finally have all of our medical records digitized and fully accessible to the patient. The group’s website,, is designed to help give people a voice in obtaining their rights to take responsibility for their own health information and care. It features a Declaration of Health Data Rights that includes the following:

We the people…

  • Have the right to our own health data
  • Have the right to know the source of each health data element
  • Have the right to take possession of a complete copy of our individual health data, without delay, at minimal or no cost; If data exists in computable form, they must be made available in that form
  • Have the right to share our health data with others as we see fit

health data rights declaration

I don’t claim to be an expert on the medical industry, nor do I fully understand the implications of all the little intricacies of insurance and health care. But, is there any good explanation as to why our medical records are not online and fully accessible to us? Or, even to our own doctors for that matter?

Many people see multiple doctors, wouldn’t it be nice if they could each see what the other is diagnosing, and what medicines are being suggested? And besides, doesn’t it seem like a basic right that citizens should be able to see their own health care information? In this technological age, why are we not taking full advantage of the possibilities? was launched just days ago, but there’s already a groundswell of support to bring the health care industry into the internet and mass communication age. Adam Bosworth, the former head of Google Health, does a great job of articulating why the change is well overdue.

Head on over to to join the conversation and let your voice be heard.

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