Keeping people’s health and healthcare data is strict requirement even without eHealth. One change that eHealth’s achieved’s an increase in societies’ and people’s awareness of privacy’s importance.
A study by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), a US think tank, found that some mHealth providers don’t always see privacy like this.
FPF’s study shows then need for standards of best practices for health and wellness data. To move it on, FPF’s published Best Practices for Consumer Wearables and Wellness Apps and Devices. It’s a detailed set of guidelines for app developers to follow so they can provide practical privacy protections for health and wellness data generated by uses. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supported the initiative, which includes contributions from several stakeholders, including companies, advocates, and regulators. It provides essential privacy policies and requirements for Africa’s health systems to adopt as they expand their mHealth programmes.
The ten best practices are in three categories:
- Opt-in consent for data sharing with third parties
- Ban sharing with data brokers, information resellers and advertising networks
- Opt-outs for tailored first-party advertising
- Access, correction and deletion rights
- Enhanced notice and express consent for incompatible secondary uses
Supporting interoperability (IoP)
- Compatibility with gold standard privacy frameworks
- Supports compliance with leading app platform standards
Elevating data norms
- Supports sharing data for scientific research with informed consent
- Strong re-identification standard
- Strong data security standards.
The guidelines can extend beyond countries existing eHealth, and specifically mHealth, legislation and regulation. For Africa’s health systems, where specific eHealth legislation and regulation is not developed, FPF’s guidelines provide an effective way of stepping it up.