Nearly three quarters of UK adults are happy to share data with their wearable devices with their GP, while 48% would allow the NHS to add their medical records to a single national database.
However, according to research by professional services firm KPMG, citizens are concerned about their data being shared with anyone outside the health service, with just 7% saying they would be happy for their wearable tech info to be shared with their employer.
Concerns were also raised about how health data is processed – just 8% were happy for private firms to process this information and 60% do not want information from wearable tech, Internet-connected devices, smartwatches and mobile phone to be shared or stored.
“The survey highlights that although UK consumers are happy to use wearable devices to report their health statuses back to their GP, they are less than comfortable for the data to be shared and stored with other entities, including healthcare providers,” claimed director of KPMG’s cyber security practice Caroline Rivett.
“What this shows is that consumers have become tired of the intrusiveness of some of these tactics coming from businesses they don’t trust. People do not want to feel like they are being ‘tracked’ for marketing purposes.
“Companies need to think long and hard about how they talk to their customers and potential customers, or there is a real risk they will become alienated rather than driving new business,” she added.
According to KPMG, UK adults place trust in the NHS, with 47% of participants saying they would be happy for their medical records to be shared anonymously in order to aid medical research, although 30% clearly said they would not want this.
“With people on the move all the time, accessing medical data through a single source can be great in the event of an emergency to make sure correct and prompt treatments are administered,” said Rivett.
“Moving to a single source online brings its own issue. We need to make sure that the data of citizens is protected against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.
“For this to work, the NHS needs to draw on skills from across government and the private sector, but also be willing to educate and engage the public to build understanding support,” she added.