Close ☰
Menu ☰

VRM, health records and UK opposition policy

Posted on: Wednesday 22nd of July 2009

Smart Healthcare has just published an article by me about health records, opposition policy and the role of VRM.

The emergence of person-centric health records, imperfect as they may yet be, suggests that healthcare may be the first sector to get this right. The NHS provides an interesting paper-based precedent for this: the red book of maternity and infant records which is held by parents. Anyone who has used them know how well they work and how carefully parents look after them.

Now imagine electronic tools many times more powerful – although no more powerful than your office software and browser – dedicated to providing that central co-ordinating role to every form you have to fill, every order you make, every financial and every health transaction.

Then ask: who is best placed to offer such powerful and essential personal information management services?

Democratic politics are taking up a direct role in the changing relationship between person-centric and organisation-centric models for personal data. Notions like user-centric identity and VRM fall across the political divide, without heed to traditional party lines. In the US the former Republican regime used big databases with scant regard to individual rights, and the Democrats seem to be reversing this with a more devolved approach. In the UK it’s a Labour administration implementing Transformational Government with big databases and state ID and it’s the Conservative and Liberal-Democrat opposition parties that champion individual control over personal data.

Health may well be the sector in which this drama plays out first. Understanding the present Google (and Microsoft or IBM) model as the UK Tories do is a first step in breaking the state-centric paradigm. But we’re not convinced it is yet anything like a complete answer. Company-centric is still organisation-centric. We’re looking for person-centric or fourth-party (ie truly and clearly on the side of the individual).