Opinion: It’s time for individuals — not doctors or companies — to own their health data

Health data should be like a mountain stream, flowing in a single direction with a clear purpose: improving health and medical outcomes. Instead, it’s a complex puzzle that only data scientists and physicians can meaningfully put together and use.

When most people think of personal health data, they think about their medical records. These reside — usually unconnected — in the offices of primary care physicians and specialists, in imaging companies, hospitals, and elsewhere. These records contain information such as vital signs, prescriptions and allergies, illnesses and injuries, physicians’ notes, and more.

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