The Accelerating Privacy Debate and What MedTech can do about it

Covid-19 is rapidly accelerating the debate around privacy and personal data. For years, it has been a topic of discussion within the health industry, but now it is a matter for everyone.

Widespread track and trace initiatives are demonstrating the value digital healthcare can bring… but are showing that there are some strings attached.

Apple and Google’s joint efforts to build a universal contact tracing app have been met with pushbacks on the levels of personal privacy involved; many governments (including ours) are building alternative options so they can get more data access and therefore offer (what they view as) a better track and trace program.

In adjacent categories, we have seen how short-term benefits ultimately outweigh concerns about privacy and long-term consequences. We give significant amounts of personal data to many tech companies, and we allow this because we receive the benefits. Facebook didn’t shut down after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Amazon remains in growth, despite its role in the demise of vast swathes of our high streets.

Covid-19 has made it clear to the general public that sharing their data can help them receive better medical care. This is not a discussion that will go away, and rather than shy away from it, brands need to step up to the discussion alongside PAGs, NGOs, and Governments, to be the voice of the trade-offs consumers are willing to make.

It’s time for Consumer MedTech brands not only to own up to but to embrace their use of data by demonstrating what is in it for users, in return. Over the long run, it is the propositions that make the data trade-off feel worth it that will win.

The Value Engineers have over three decades of experience helping Health, Technology, and MedTech brands navigate the future. For more information on our experience and methodologies, please contact us at

By: The Value Engineers

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