What They’re Watching: David Wetherelt, 3M

David Wetherelt is the Director of Business Development, Populations and Payment Solutions at 3M Health Information Systems. He joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss health data consent management.


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“One of the things that we’re thinking about right now is the whole notion of individual consent management. There’s a technological piece that’s missing there which is, you know, the ability to direct consent from an individual consumer. So, if you go to a website now, you’ll see “do you accept cookies” and things like that. That’s consent — you’re granting consent. The same notion is coming to health care.

What needs to happen is there needs to be this smoothing out behind the scenes of how consent is managed. There’s this notion of health data rights management. And it’s either on an individual basis — so you’ll be able to go to apps and say I’d like to give this doctor consent; I’d like to give this facility consent to share my data. But behind the scenes, it’s actually opening up a whole bunch of ways for all of these multiple organizations to share the data for the greater good — especially in systems like Whole Person Care in California. Some of the best work has been done because they’ve kind of put that data together, and they’ve done it through universal consent. There’s more to come I think in terms of consent, and universal consent management, and health data consent management.

Really, it’s about almost licensing my individual intellectual property, which is my health, right? There needs to be a notion that all the partners come together and say, we need a good universal system of consent management because the intellectual property of my health belongs to me ultimately. My privacy belongs to me and I need to be able to direct that, and partners need to be able to say we’re going to do some things where we’re going to work together.”