Insurer NIB wants access to members’ genetic information

The Australian

6 December 2019 - Health insurer NIB wants to use genetic information and My Health Record data to calculate the risk profiles of its members, in a major push towards person­alised preventive medicine.

The listed insurer has created a data science and health services company in partnership with US provider Cigna Corporation, with plans to use de-identified big data to calculate individual health risks. NIB chief executive Mark Fitzgibbon raised the ire of doctors by foreshadowing an application by the new company to access government-held electronic health records.

“Potentially this body as a registered healthcare provider, with our members’ permission, could access My Health Record,” he said. “It will be a health care provider and it will be eligible to apply to access that data.”

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Michael Wonder

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Michael Wonder