News all over the world is spreading regarding tests that should be available very soon concerning the medical community’s ability to test patients, not for COVID-19 infection, but COVID-19 antibodies. This vital information would tell the medical and clinical trial community about who was infected and didn’t manifest either any symptoms or ones that were so mild, they didn’t know they were infected with the COVID-19 virus. This would be very interesting information to study for lots of reasons. COVID-19 Antibody testing would allow us to be able to track where the start of infection started in areas where this kind of testing was done.
COVID-19 antibody testing would also allow us to study the disease better since we have no real data on it so far. With new virus strains come many new questions, changes in symptoms, and the ability to effectively treat. Understanding what happens in a body that displays no symptoms despite COVID-19 virus infection could also help us develop a cure or better treatments.
COVID-19 Antibody Testing Is Vital But Presents Real Challenges
You can’t do any of these antibody tests without doing COVID-19 antibody testing on humans. While this patient data is very instrumental for clinical trials there is one thing that needs to be in place in order for it to happen; patient consent. Right now, anyone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 infection is being tested for the virus. This vital test is also not foolproof. While it is helpful, it still has a 30% failure rate for false-negative test results. This reality is both frustrating and potentially dangerous for continued viral spread. More work still needs to be done on testing improvements for the COVID-19 infection test. That puts doubt in the minds of patients who may be asked to participate in COVID-19 antibody testing as to the validity of this test in the first place.
Putting patients, or just regular American citizens, in the situation of forced testing for the sake of patient data is going to have very negative results. Consent is still necessary for this kind of medical procedure. You will need willing participants who want COVID-19 antibody testing. The medical community has many opinions on requiring COVID-19 antibody testing to be able to return to work and the community. While this idea has been floated equally on Op-Ed and conspiracy sites alike, no one is making any real case for mandated COVID-19 antibody testing prior to returning to life outside your home. There is no celebrity or well-funded foundation that has the ability to dictate how your patient information is stored or shared without your consent.
Patient Data Privacy Is A Real Concern For Many And It Still Should Be
Whether or not mandatory COVID-19 antibody becomes a reality for some or all, this data collection is on a collision course with patient data privacy. We still have HIPAA compliance to consider for patient data privacy. While the rumor of COVID-19 antibody testing to return to work looms overhead, the requirement to share your own private patient data with your employer and/or coworkers is still in direct conflict with HIPAA compliance.
Assuming the scenario where COVID-19 antibody testing and data sharing becomes a problem to solve, where will this data be secured so it can be shared by the patient themselves in a HIPAA compliant fashion? How will they be able to store their own patient data and be able to share it with whom they would like without other people or entities being able to have access to it without their permission? Patients should always have control over who sees their medical information. When they want to share it now, they usually print out information to hand to whoever needs it. This is not data secure nor privacy-compliant as it can easily be lost or thrown away, only for other eyes to read it without the patient’s permission.
eCare Vault is the perfect solution to COVID-19 antibody testing result storage, data sharing, and patient data privacy combined. The perfect storm of HIPAA compliance is averted with eCare Vault’s unique medical collaboration tools. This completely HIPAA compliant, cloud-based solution makes patient data available to anyone the patient would like to share it with from any handheld device.
Combining Privacy, Security, And Availability Is Ready Today
The power of patient data and the security of patient privacy compliance is combined in one medical collaboration tool. If you’d like to find out more about how to keep patient data secure and available when a patient needs to share it, contact us today for a free consultation.
Patient data sharing is still in the hands of the patient. The ability to share it from any handheld device when needed should be in their hands too. Help patients feel more in control of their patient data with eCare Vault today.