Each patient has a Solid pod with an “All About Me” form with information submitted by the patient or an authorized relative, supplementing the person’s electronic health record. The pod might list that the patient needs help for daily tasks like getting out of bed, tying shoelaces or going to the bathroom. It might also include what soothes the patient when agitated — perhaps country music or classic old movies. Later, activity data from an Apple Watch or Fitbit could be added.The medical goal, said Scott Watson, technical director on the pilot project, is improved health and better care that are less stressful for the patient. “And it’s a fundamental change in how we share information in health care systems,” he said.
The initial project will begin with up to 50 patients in the Manchester region and be evaluated in a few months.In Flanders, a region of more than six million people, the government hopes the new data technology can nurture opportunities for local entrepreneurs and companies and new services for citizens. Personal data in pods can be linked with public and private data to create new applications, said Raf Buyle, an information architect for the Flanders government.One potential app, Mr. Buyle said, might suggest routes and modes of travel for work commutes, once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Such an app, he said, could combine location data from a person’s smartphone, with preferences for exercise and reducing the carbon footprint, and weather and public transport schedules and bike or scooter rental pickup sites.
Individual privacy and the risks that can come from the disclosure of personal health information — like stigma — are still critical concerns for public health officials, Lee stresses.But the actions public health officials can take, like collecting information, aren’t designed to limit privacy, Fairchild says.