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Software Gives Patients Control of Their Medical Information

Carl Gunter and his research group have developed software that enables patients to have greater control over what personal medical information is shared between doctors.

Carl Gunter
Carl Gunter

The software is part of the Strategic Healthcare IT Advanced Research Projects on Security (SHARPS) project, which is directed by Gunter.

The software was created in collaboration with the Illinois Health Information Exchange (ILHIE). Information can be redacted from clinical summary documents using an approach called Decision Support for Data Segmentation (DS2). DS2 is designed to address the challenge that a condition can often be inferred from the medical record even after its primary diagnosis has been removed and even if a recognized list of related clinical facts has been removed.

The report on this software was featured in MIT Technology Review. The article says, “Many patients may not want their entire medical history to be accessible by everyone they see, so there is pressure to develop tools that can be used to limit access.”