1. Brai7's Avatar
    BlackBerry partners with Dr. Oz's Sharecare to bring health experts to smartphones - Kitchener-Waterloo - CBC News

    Smartphone users can soon get health advice directly from medical experts thanks to a new partnership between Waterloo-based Blackberry and digital wellness platform Sharecare, co-created by Dr. Mehmet Oz and WebMD founder Jeff Arnold.

    The companies announced the launch of the service, called the Sharecare BBM channel, in a release Wednesday saying it will connect users to major health organizations and medical professionals from inside Blackberry's messaging service, BBM.

    "Experts ranging from the American Cancer Society to licensed physicians and nurses, and luminaries from Deepak Chopra to Dr. Oz can be connected to users to help them find the health answers, advice and resources that are right for them," the release states.

    First created in 2010, the Sharecare platform allows users to build a personalized online health profile by answering questions about lifestyle and medical history. The platform's AskMD function gives users access to health consultations and contains a database of nearby health professionals that can be filtered by language, experience and hospital affiliation, according to its website.

    Privacy experts concerned

    Sharecare says almost 45 million people have shared 6 billion data points of health information and habits on the platform. And the BBM channel will allow the the service to extend its reach to "hundreds of millions more consumers," Arnold said in the release.

    Dr. Oz, The Doctors' TV advice not always supported by evidence

    But for some privacy experts, sharing personal health information online is fraught with potential pitfalls.

    "The concern really becomes how do they protect that information and do they apply the proper privacy controls," Security Perspectives president Scott Wright told CBC News.

    Blackberry says its encrypted messaging platform, BBM Protected, will help ensure the sensitive health information of users is properly safeguarded.

    "We are addressing the privacy concerns consumers may have regarding personal health data and ensuring we're providing the solutions necessary to thwart anything that could compromise sensitive information," BlackBerry chief operating officer Marty Beard said in Wednesday's release.

    Dr. Ann Cavoukian, executive director of Ryerson University's Privacy and Big Data Institute, says users of the Sharecare service need to make sure they read and understand the platform's privacy policies. "We know no one does that," she said.

    Cavoukian says there are two policies that govern users of the Sharecare service. The first is a general use policy that allows personal information to be sold to third-party marketers in a variety of instances. "That made me nervous," she said.

    A second policy specific to health information requires users to provide explicit consent before Sharecare can sell, rent or share their personal health details. But, she cautions, if the service is sold, that information can easily change hands as part of a possible takeover.

    "To me that raises a lot of red flags," she said. "You have to take the blinders off and go into these things - especially when personal health information is involved - with your eyes open."

    Putting information online can be risky

    Wright echoes the concerns, saying that putting personal information online always comes with risks.

    "From a social engineering or a con artist point of view, people can get tricked into divulging too much information that could be used against them for things like identity theft or even more malicious purposes," Wright said.

    And while concerns about identity theft are nothing new, Wright says how volunteering health information online can impact legal cases or be accessed by insurance companies remains murky territory.

    The bottom line, according to Cavoukian: "Make it your business to at least ask some questions before you disclose your sensitive health information onto a website which may be accessed by others."
    02-25-16 08:08 AM
  2. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    One of my kids, their medical coverage includes some kind of "portal" they can log on to (not sure if there is an app or a website)... and for some simple things like say a cold or flu, they can get prescriptions just by filling out a questionnaire. No taking a trip to a doctors office where even sicker people are.....
    02-25-16 08:32 AM
  3. streetsec's Avatar
    I'm glad Dunt Dunt Dunt brought up the issue of portals for medical healthcare. There's an important difference between sites like Sharecare and the portals provided by healthcare providers for medical coverage.

    The medical healthcare portals are operated by companies that should be well aware of the privacy regulations regarding collected personal information. But their main source of income is the insurance premiums paid by employees and/or employers. With this income, they must run a business on standard income and expense models used for companies in their industry. There's more motivation for them to protect your data than to put it at risk.

    Sites like Sharecare provide a lot of FREE services to anyone who wants to join. Of course, FREE doesn't mean there's no cost to you. The cost is in giving up more of your privacy, so the company can provide targeted ads or worse, sell your personal information (raw or aggregated) to other parties (advertisers, scammers, criminals, etc.). They may also charge you for some added value services.

    It's much harder to judge the privacy risks for the FREE sites. It's not just whether they protect your data going over the Internet (via BBM, for example), but how they protect it on their servers, and even whether or not they have a privacy policy, whether it's a good one, and whether they follow it. They are betting you won't read or care about their privacy policies, because they need to make use of the information you submit to fund most of the cost of running their sites.

    All companies that collect personal data are supposed to take appropriate measures to protect your privacy, but there are many who still don't do this in the way we expect them to, especially the FREE ones. That's because their business model depends on them getting value from your data in some way.

    So, be careful.
    02-25-16 09:08 AM
  4. TGR1's Avatar
    Dr. Oz and WebMD founder -
    TgeekB likes this.
    02-25-16 09:34 AM
  5. Iggy City's Avatar
    Ugh Dr. Oz. Terrible.
    02-25-16 09:38 AM
  6. Brai7's Avatar
    Of all Drs around the world it had to be Dr Oz! His license should be revoke for making lots of unproven claim and also to boost his celebrity status!
    02-25-16 09:52 AM
  7. Randal Yandal's Avatar
    Isn't dr. Oz a slimebag hack?

    BlackBerry Z30 (10.3.2)
    Troy Tiscareno likes this.
    02-25-16 09:55 AM
  8. thurask's Avatar
    Isn't dr. Oz a slimebag hack?

    BlackBerry Z30 (10.3.2)
    You're better off asking CB for medical advice.
    TgeekB and Elephant_Canyon like this.
    02-25-16 10:21 AM
  9. TGR1's Avatar
    Isn't dr. Oz a slimebag hack?

    BlackBerry Z30 (10.3.2)
    Surprisingly once upon a time he was a very bright and very skilled physician. Lately, not so much.
    02-25-16 02:46 PM
  10. Emaderton3's Avatar
    Surprisingly once upon a time he was a very bright and very skilled physician. Lately, not so much.
    He has been the subject of Congressional investigations and pushes products with no rigorous scientific proof as cures for various things.

    Posted via CB10
    03-04-16 07:43 AM
  11. TGR1's Avatar
    He has been the subject of Congressional investigations and pushes products with no rigorous scientific proof as cures for various things.

    Posted via CB10
    Oh, absolutely. And his colleagues at Columbia want him out. But he didn't start out as a fake. Is all I am saying.
    03-04-16 07:55 AM
  12. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    Oh, absolutely. And his colleagues at Columbia want him out. But he didn't start out as a fake. Is all I am saying.
    Right. He just decided to abandon his oath and accepted medical practices to shill for products that line his pockets at the expense of patients and TV viewers.
    03-04-16 02:25 PM
  13. code2solutions's Avatar
    You're better off asking CB for medical advice.
    Or Dr. Dre

    Posted via CB10
    03-04-16 02:32 PM
  14. TGR1's Avatar
    Right. He just decided to abandon his oath and accepted medical practices to shill for products that line his pockets at the expense of patients and TV viewers.
    What gets me are the celeb endorsements he has.

    ETA: I am not trying to defend him in the slightest. I was just pointing out to a poster that he wasn't a quack to start with. In fact, this makes his current behavior even worse.
    Troy Tiscareno likes this.
    03-04-16 03:31 PM
  15. BeautyEh's Avatar
    You guys are a little off on Dr. Oz - he is a surgeon actually, quite well accredited and renowned. Time magazine did an article about him 2 years ago which explored the fact that he still practices, even though he has the show.

    He is VERY explicit actually that they do not sell products. Check his website.

    Some of us who believe less in the "drugs/surgery are the only things that help" and more in the "let's try a lifestyle/preventative/holistic approach first" quite like him. Even though I wouldn't blindly say everything promoted on the show is going to work.

    Posted via CB10
    03-04-16 08:31 PM
  16. reeneebob's Avatar
    If he said it was raining I'd look out a window. He's dangerous.

    I'm all for holistic approaches but he absolutely shills product. Don't be naive.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczyn...et#.dsOm7kvqrA
    Troy Tiscareno and TGR1 like this.
    03-04-16 09:52 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-04-16, 09:53 PM
  2. What is the best fitness tracker to use with BB OS 10?
    By masterHOOP in forum BlackBerry 10 OS
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-04-16, 09:39 PM
  3. Z10 to Priv?
    By nickelodeon008 in forum General BlackBerry Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-26-16, 01:54 PM
  4. Download Blackberry World for BB10?
    By CrackBerry Question in forum BlackBerry World
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-25-16, 03:14 AM
  5. Clash of Clans, any way to make it work on Z10?
    By thevoyager in forum Android Apps (Amazon Store & APK Files)
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-25-16, 03:11 AM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD