Emerging Technologies for Collecting Patient Data

08 Sep 2017

The BOA is aware of a number of emerging companies and products that are aimed at collecting data as part of the patient journey through surgical treatment. These include companies interested in capturing PROMs and rehabilitation and recovery data.  Some of these companies or products are marketed directly to patients themselves, and some target clinicians, encouraging them to use the tools with their patients.

In some cases, the product may have been commissioned by or have the backing of your Trust or provider. In this case, it is likely that the relevant due diligence has been performed by them, but you should check.

If you as an individual clinician are considering using such a product, you have a duty to undertake your own due diligence. The BOA does not endorse any specific company or provider. We encourage our members to consider the following points if they are planning to use such a product:

  • Is the product intended to collect patient-identifiable data? If so you should assure yourself about:
    • The data security in place (both technological and organisational);
    • Who is Data Controller and therefore has the relevant responsibilities under the Data Protection Act. (If this is the company themselves, then the arrangements need careful checking. If this is to be you individually then you need to be clear on the responsibilities that this entails.);
    • Who has access to the data and what they are permitted to do with it;
    • Is any of the data to be sold or shared or used for other purposes.
  • What are the stated aims of the product – they may relate to helping patients track their progress or helping you as a clinician track their progress. Do you think the stated aims are achievable based on what you know about the product. As with any product, it is important to try to look behind any marketing ‘hype’.
  • Do you know anyone else using the product or can you find out anyone else who is using it? Try to get their view.
  • Is the company wanting you to back their product and become involved in marketing it to other potential customers?


If you have any comments on this issue, please contact policy@boa.ac.uk.

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