[ Wednesday, July 28, 2004 ]


ClinicalTrials.gov website (sort of OT): The intersection of medical record privacy and medical research has always beeen a hazardous one, and the advent of HIPAA has focused more attention on that.  However, medical research has usually been ahead of the curve, with all legitimate projects having some sort of privacy controls.  Given the medical research industry's good track record, HIPAA was drafted (and revised) to allow the industry to continue using and transmitting personal health and medical information, as long as the usual protections are in place (usually an institutional review board). 

One of the conundra around medical research is how the results of the research get to those who can use it.  Generally, the scientific community does a good job of moving around the information, as do entities like drug companies that can profit from the information.  However, the general public has little opportunity to access such information.  A related conundra would be the fact that the general public might not be able to understand the information even if it had access, given the use of clinical terminology.  As noted in this article in the Washington Post (free registration may be required), there is a great, user-friendly website that provides comprehensive information on clinical trials.  And you don't need a PhD to understand it.

Jeff [9:40 AM]

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