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Survey: Most Adults Concerned about Health Data Hackers

October 3, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Most U.S. adults are becoming more comfortable using new technologies to manage healthcare records, though many still have concerns about this information’s vulnerability to hackers, according to a survey on behalf of the University of Phoenix.

The survey of more than 2,000 adults, conducted online, shows that nearly three out of four (72 percent) U.S. adults agree with the statement, “I am concerned that my online healthcare records are vulnerable to hackers.” At the same time, 59 percent of Americans said they are comfortable with healthcare records being transmitted across networks, even across country borders.

According to the University of Phoenix, these numbers have shifted slightly since a similar 2015 survey from the institution which found that 76 percent of U.S. adults were concerned that their healthcare records were vulnerable to hackers and 55 percent were comfortable with records being transmitted over networks.

The trend toward a more accepting view of technology being used for healthcare data may have something to do with Americans' use of the Internet, the researchers concluded. According to the 2016 survey, 50 percent of adults say they spend 20 hours a week or more on the internet, and 26 percent say they spend 10 to 19 hours a week online.

“As Americans become more trusting of the technology being used to manage their personal health information, the industry has an obligation to preserve that trust by investing and developing new technologies, protocols and systems that can provide them with the security they deserve,” Mark Johannsson, academic dean for University of Phoenix School of Health Services Administration, said in a statement. “National Health IT Week draws attention to the important issue of exploring new information technologies in advancing the healthcare industry.”

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