Recent Blogs

Epatients: The hackers of the healthcare world

By Fred Trotter | January 5, 2012

I help build open source software tools that patients can use to have greater control and influence over their own healthcare (like the Direct Project and Your Doctors Advice). As as result, I’ve become quite familiar with other tools that do the same sorts of things. There is a community of patients who are deeply…

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Programmable Self Reading List

By Fred Trotter | May 26, 2011

I am preparing for my talk at Quantified Self about my work on Programmable Self. I was asked to make a “reading list” for the people who were interested in this subject so I wanted to create that here. Please add links in my comments section for titles that I have omitted!! Requirements for inclusion…

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Open Letter to the tiger team

By Fred Trotter | June 10, 2010

This is an open letter to the tiger team from HIT Policy Committee as well as the committee generally. Recently a group from HITPC gave recommendations to the NHIN Direct project regarding which protocol it should choose. I realized as I heard the comments there, that this group was reading the NHIN Direct Security and…

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The Burden of Trust

By Fred Trotter | May 24, 2010

I am a vocal participant on the NHIN Direct Security and Trust working group. Its a perfect place for me. I love Open Source healthcare, but my background was in InfoSec… and we never really forget our first love.. do we? At the NHIN Direct Security and Trust workgroup, I get to exercise all of…

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Technology vs Policy for privacy

By Fred Trotter | March 30, 2010

I have long been an advocate of reasonable and measured reaction to “privacy scare tactics”. I have argued, for instance, that it was a good thing that HIPAA does not cover PHR systems. But that does not mean that I do not think privacy is important. In fact there has been something nagging at the…

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Wikipedia weak on drug information

By Fred Trotter | December 4, 2008

Reuters is covering the news that Wikipedia is missing critical information about medicines that it covers. Specifically the following results were found: (researchers) found few factual errors in their evaluation of Wikipedia entries on 80 drugs. But these entries were often missing important information, and The researchers compared Wikipedia to Medscape Drug Reference (MDR), a peer-reviewed,…

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Google Flu Trends and Privacy

By Fred Trotter | November 25, 2008

Google.org, which is the philanthropic arm of Google, has released Google Flu Trends to great fanfare and criticism. Google Flu tracks searches for flu symptoms on Googles search service. So if I type “achy headache” into Google, it might count the search as evidence that I, or someone I was caring for, had the flu. Enough…

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On Being Threatened

By Fred Trotter | November 10, 2008

Express Scripts, one of the nations largest pharmacy benefit management companies, is being blackmailed with the release of private health information. The blackmailer proved that he/she has access to the data by providing information on 75 Express Scripts customers. The company has done a fine job of swallowing this bitter pill. They have done exactly…

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Security in Medical Devices, implications

By Fred Trotter | August 9, 2008

There are more and more examples of how standard hacking techniques apply in healthcare, with serious consequences. Recent issues include RFID hacking and interference issues. Recently, a talk at BlackHat regarding hacking medical devices, including pacemakers, has begun appearing in popular blogs. What is most dangerous about this is not actually the hack itself, but…

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In all Fairness

By Fred Trotter | May 23, 2008

Its time to set the record straight on what are valid criticisms of HealthVault and Google Health and what are not. If you have ever read my posts, then you can be sure that when an organization needs criticizing I am the first to give it them with both barrels. But here both Google and…

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