The discussion regarding the availability of medical data both for the people who need to see it to treat you correctly and the people who would like to analyse it (anonymously) is not new. In the Netherlands there have been attempts since 2010 to set up a system with a central database but they have all failed at government level because of privacy concerns. The question remains are these concerns valid or are we just adopting a convenient excuse for not investing in healthcare? Certainly, looked at from the viewpoint of business analytics “privacy” is probably the most quoted reason for not implementing an information system, this is of course much wider than medical systems, Human Resources and Fraud Detection are other typical examples where typically the problem is a fear of transparency, of uncovering problems which may reflect badly on management and has absolutely nothing to do with privacy.
The middle of a crisis is not the right time to be negative, and that is certainly not my intention. I have a huge respect for all the people both inside and outside the health services who are working very hard under difficult circumstances and often at great personal risk to make sure that we beat this crisis and come out the other side more or less intact.