journal of biomedical informatics
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Health Records as an Object of Czech Personal Data Protection and Intellectual Property Law

Author(s): Otto Dostál, Milan Šárek

Objectives: The handling of health records is closely tied with in the last years very much discussed topic of personal data protection. It is still possible to encounter fears if the legal regulation of personal data protection allows some of these deployments and in which way. Less often, but still, it is possible to encounter concerns also regarding possible intellectual property claims. In the light of these questions the authors decided to do an analysis of the existing legal framework.

Methods: It this article we analyse the relevant content of Czech Personal Data Protection Act (though as this area is already highly harmonized by EU directives, the demonstrated principles can be applied more generally, not only in the context of the specific country). In similar way we analyse also the Czech Copyright Act.

Results: When comparing both regulations we see that their principles and the subjects they concentrate on are largely different and the personal data protection is more prominent in our context, but the intellectual property regulation can also apply in some cases and complements the regulation. Legal frameworks we discussed here can be judged as developed and relatively mature. This appears to be the result of the harmonisation by EU directives and other supranational legislation.

Conclusions: Legal regulation discussed in this article seems to be generally ready for development and deployment of e-health services. This does not, however, meant, that the described regulation should not be a major concern of health care providers. Quite the opposite. The data Protection Act prescribes critical obligations, such the adoption of measures preventing unauthorised access to personal data. Also for certain types of databases the intellectual property rights cannot be ignored.