HIMAA Privacy and Security Community of Practice
When the Privacy and Security CoP commenced quite a few years ago, the concept of protecting health information was linear, i.e. don’t talk about patients in an open area, protect the physical record, ensure that good cybersecurity standards are in place, provide training for healthcare staff, discuss legal ramifications of releasing information to third parties.
Those concepts still have merits in today’s environment, as we are still dealing with both physical and electronic health information management on a daily basis. However, we are now dealing with new concerns with the advancement of technology in all sectors of health, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other tools such as Chat GPT[i]. These rapid changes in technology open up a new range of issues and concerns for the protection and management of health information.
The Australian Government has recently published results to consultation sought on responsible use of AI. This included responses from the OAIC on privacy and information management in relation to data collected and used for AI purposes[ii].
The use of AI in healthcare has tremendous potential for example being able to consolidate large amounts of health data and provide analysis in this area. The large datasets that will be used to provide AI testing and algorithm development may also result in potential privacy breaches, unwanted bias and other ethical concerns[iii]. Privacy laws and legislation must be reviewed to ensure that health information is not compromised.
The challenges of protecting health information are not only felt in Australia but internationally, it is one of the greatest challenges that we are currently facing. The protection of privacy must take precedence when new systems are introduced to the healthcare sector.
The goals of the Privacy and Security Community of Practice in 2024 will be to delve into this area further and develop a whitepaper, and other research into developing concerns of privacy and security management. We will also continue to have meetings with our members and discuss any other concerns that are arising. We will also look at other mediums of discussing privacy and security concerns via Webinars.
As a group we welcome all points of view and encourage interested HIMAA members to join our group and contribute to this growing area of knowledge. Sharon Campbell-Convenor
[i] Ott T, Dabrock P. Transparent human – (non-) transparent technology? The Janus-faced call for transparency in AI-based health care technologies. Front Genet. 2022 Aug 22;13:902960. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2022.902960. PMID: 36072654; PMCID: PMC9444183.
[ii] Department of Industry, Science and Resources. 2024. Supporting responsible AI: Discussion Paper. Available at: https://consult.industry.gov.au/supporting-responsible-ai [iii]
Fiske A, Henningsen P, Buyx A. Your Robot Therapist Will See You Now: Ethical Implications of Embodied Artificial Intelligence in Psychiatry, Psychology, and Psychotherapy. J Med Internet Res. 2019 May 9;21(5):e13216. doi: 10.2196/13216. PMID: 31094356; PMCID: PMC6532335.