(KMOV) – Some hospitals are beginning to use detailed consumer data to create profiles on patients to identify which ones are most likely to get sick. It already has some people saying it sounds more like Big Brother than a doctor-patient relationship.
The overall goal is to keep people out of the hospital and emergency room.and save the hospital money.
The hospitals say they use the information to identify high risk patients. For example, hospitals will be able to see when someone makes frequent stops at the gas station for cigarettes and junk food, or stops by Ted Drewes too often. The hospitals can then determine if the frozen custard addict is at risk of diabetes or if a smoker has a high risk of stroke.
Privacy advocates are already expressing their concerns. Other people are saying they have had a hard enough time getting in touch with their doctor as is, so this seems like a weird next step.
News 4 is working to find out whether any St. Louis hospitals are using the technology.