Medical data: who owns it and what can be done to it?

…most states in the US do not have law to confer specific ownership of medical data to patients, while others put the rights on hospitals and physicians. Of all, only New Hampshire allows patients to legally own their medical records.

Source: Medical data: who owns it and what can be done to it?

A short article that raises some interesting questions. My understanding is that the data belongs to the patient and the media on which the data is stored belongs to the hospital. For example, I own the data generated about my body but the paper folder or computer hard drive belongs to the hospital. That means I can ask the hospital to photocopy my medical folder and give me the copy (or to email me an exported XML data file from whatever EHR system they use) but I can’t take the folder home when I’m discharged.

Things are going to get interesting when AI-based systems are being trained en masse using historical medical records where patients did not give consent for their data to be used for algorithmic training. I believe that the GDPR goes some way towards addressing this issue by stating that, “healthcare providers do not have to seek prior permission from patients to use their data, as long as they observe the professional secrecy act to not identify patients at the individual level”.