Tag: Companies

Some virtual care companies putting patient data at risk, new study finds

This story is part of CBC Health’s Second Opinion, a weekly analysis of health and medical science news emailed to subscribers on Saturday mornings. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here.

If you visit a doctor virtually through a commercial app, the information you submit in the app could be used to promote a particular drug or service, says the leader of a new Canadian study involving industry insiders.

The industry insiders “were concerned that care might not be designed to be the best care for patients, but rather might be designed to increase uptake of the drug or vaccine to meet the pharmaceutical company objectives,” said Dr. Sheryl Spithoff, a physician and scientist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

Virtual care took off as a convenient way to access health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing patients to consult with a doctor by videoconference, phone call or text.

It’s estimated that more than one in five adults in Canada —  or 6.5 million people — don’t have a family physician or nurse practitioner they can see regularly, and virtual care is helping to fill the void.

But the study’s researchers and others who work in the medical field have raised concerns that some virtual care companies aren’t adequately protecting patients’ private health information from being used by drug companies and shared with third parties that want to market products and services.

A female doctor with long, brown hair standing in a medical office.
Dr. Sheryl Spithoff, a physician and scientist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, co-authored a new study that found the for-profit virtual care industry valued patient data and ‘appears to view data as a revenue stream.’ (Turgut Yeter/CBC)

Spithoff co-authored the study in this week’s BMJ Open, based on interviews with 18 individuals employed or affiliated with the Canadian virtual care

US Departments of Labor and Health and Human Companies announce extra ways to deal with kid labor violations, strengthening coordination

The new settlement even further increases coordination and information and facts sharing to assistance avoid and address baby labor violations

The U.S. Departments of Labor and Wellbeing and Human Expert services introduced right now a Memorandum of Agreement to progress ongoing efforts to tackle little one labor exploitation. 

The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division and the Health and fitness and Human Services Department’s Administration for Kids and Families signed the arrangement to formalize the partnership between the agencies, and outline strategies to be adopted by both of those companies in doing the job alongside one another to tackle the want for further info sharing, coordination, instruction, and schooling. The function of this MOA is to increase the enforcement of the child labor protections of the Reasonable Labor Specifications Act (FLSA), to greatly enhance the skill to defend little ones from exploitation, and to hook up people today to necessary benefits and products and services. It represents unparalleled methods to optimize collaboration concerning the two agencies to reduce and deal with illegal boy or girl labor.

The arrangement will:

  • Enable detect geographies and businesses where small children may perhaps be probable to be struggling from little one labor exploitation
  • Assist investigations with info that could aid identifying instances the place kids are unlawfully employed and
  • Aid coordination to make sure that little one labor trafficking victims or opportunity victims have access to important solutions.

The arrangement is in conjunction with the new interagency child labor process force introduced by the businesses February 27, 2023. The target of the undertaking power is to further collaboration and increase data sharing between organizations, and to progress the wellbeing, education and learning, and well-being of young children in the U.S.  

“Our partnership with HHS will support us proceed to battle unlawful little one labor

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