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Keywords:

  • health care;
  • biometrics;
  • data protection;
  • privacy;
  • electronic health records;
  • medical identify theft;
  • medical fraud

Abstract

A proliferation of health information technology (HIT) policies to implement dimensions of e-health, including electronic medical records, electronic health records, personal health records, and e-prescribing—along with expanding initiatives on mobile health in developed countries and emerging technologies—has sparked academic inquiry into the protection of privacy and data and the technology to protect privacy and data. This article examines HIT policies in the United States and in China and the use of authentication technologies to assess biometrics as privacy's friend or foe in different political frameworks with varying conceptions of privacy. An analysis of privacy in the context of health data protection, challenging relations of trust between patients and providers, the increasing perspective of health data integrity as a cyber-security issue, and the growing rate of medical fraud and medical identity theft may yield findings of a convergence of views of privacy and biometrics unexpected of contrasting political cultures.