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  • Writer's pictureShane

Data Privacy and Transparency

Updated: Oct 31, 2018

So we’ve had a really interesting couple of weeks!

We were one of the 10 finalists in Women Who Tech and as part of the (fantastic) program Mozilla took us through their Lean Data Practice principles before we set off to pitch our company and our approach to data in Paris.

It was amazing.

Women Who Tech finals venue!

Mozilla have three key principles on data:

  1. Stay lean - question what you collect, why and how long you keep it

  2. Build security - protect your customer and users data as best as possible

  3. Engage your users - keep people informed and empowered over their data

As a company we immediately fell in love with this idea. Especially engaging users. In healthcare it is rare for people to have easy access to their data. Sure in theory we could write to our healthcare provider to ask them for our medical records but who does? And doesn’t that stop people from fully engaging in their health?

Empowering patients with their own healthcare data has been one of our passions since the beginning and even more so after Mozilla’s introduction to Lean Data Practices.

In the end we were awarded the Mozilla prize for data security and transparency for our approach to engaging patients with their own data.

By providing patients with access to their data in a useful way, Vitrue offers us an example of how creating new data — even personal data — can be quite positive when it is handled well” - Mitchell Baker (Mozilla cofounder and Chairwoman)

We aim to make data a positive thing by treating it right - making sure that patients can access and understand their own data, give informed consent and have a full understanding of who has access to it. This may not seem all that novel except with the rise of internet giants there are huge amounts of data about each of us out there and it doesn’t feel like we have any control or even idea where it is going (we’re looking at you Cambridge Analytica). As new digital health tools come out we need to get this right.

We also need to constantly re-examine these processes. Yes opt in seems like the best route for us right now, but there’s great research being done checking that.

This is why companies like Mozilla are super important and we hope to follow in their footsteps in making data a thing that our users own and control. Of course we would love it if people chose to share their anonymised data with us so that we can keep improving our clinical assessment algorithms but our philosophy is that users own their own data and they can choose to share with us because they want to improve healthcare just like we do rather than them having to give it to us to use our services.

We are honoured to have been recognised by Mozilla as someone working towards a more positive relationship between people and their data and we will always try to live by that approach.

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