In February 2015 PwC asserted that $41 trillion would be transferred between generations in the next 50 years.  One suspects that that could be much more given an ever-growing middle class in many countries around the globe.    In fact, in 2014 the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) of Boston College calculated that the much vaunted $41 trillion figure was actually $59 trillion (see here).

What the prospective transference raises is the ability of the forthcoming transferor to collect, protect and secure his or her fortune and valuable assets, of whatever description, before it is ever passed on.    How is that all going to happen? Who is going to be “involved” in the orderly transference? How is it going to be possible to establish what there is to transfer and where it is to be found?
The collection and protection of one’s personal information – in all of its manifestations – is increasingly more important, if for no other reason than to protect oneself from identity theft.
“Identity fraud is a type of fraud that involves the theft of your personal information including your name, date of birth, address and other details. Fraudsters then use this information, for example, to open bank accounts, obtain credit cards, start an illegal business or apply for a passport. Your details may also be used to commit serious crimes, such as money laundering and even terrorist acts.

Identity thieves are after everything that contains your personal information: bank and credit card statements, bills, driver’s licence, passport, investment reports, superannuation records, storage media such as CDs and USB devices, and any documents that contain your tax file number.”

MoneySmart – Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Almost every commercial and government agency with whom one has contact – think banks, insurance companies, utility supplier, medicos, hospitals, government departments, travel agency, hotel and car rentals, etc. etc. – will in one way or another have captured significant details about oneself.   What assurance do we have that that information is secure? Absolutely none, despite what they might claim how they go to whatever lengths to secure their systems

“Cybersecurity has become one of the CEO’s biggest worries, according to several surveys. Companies are investing billions in protecting their systems and training their employees. The worldwide cybersecurity market has been estimated at $77 billion in 2015 and will be $170 billion by 2020. However, the field has mostly focused on protecting systems from vulnerabilities in software and hardware. Today’s threats are no longer confined to those two places. As organizations have come to rely more and more on data-driven algorithms, risks are increasingly present in the data itself.”

Harvard Business Review: “Your Algorithms Are Not Safe from Hackers“.

One easy and straight-forward way of ensuring – as far as that is possible – that the least amount of one’s personal details are “out there”, and then, most likely on the ubiquitous cloud, is to take control of it oneself, and in effect, become the keeper of and gatekeeper to third parties gaining access to one’s private information. The LifeBank platform is one such secure vehicle. It collects and protects one’s data and it is the user who controls how much, and to whom, any details about oneself is available, whoever they might be.

There is also another dimension to collecting and protecting one’s personal details. Often not even mentioned in those cautioning one to try and avoid being caught in identity theft, or just plain theft, of whatever details on file at some third party such as a bank, etc. are our medical details and records.

As things stand now, health-related systems wherever introduced have simply not worked or are only available to a relatively small percentage of the community. First of all systems just can’t cope with all the data. Then, as soon as some inroads are made in collating the information, along comes some new piece of technology which doesn’t “work” with the existing ones. Add into that mix the breakdown of technology and pieces of technology which already don’t “talk to one another” and you have the makings of problems. Patient records are not available in a timely manner and possibly not even up to date. Time and money is needlessly involved in gathering medical information – which in certain instances may well delay attending to a life-threatening situation. The solution? Again, the individual taking charge of his or her medical details – and looking to HealthBank as the solution to securing all one’s medical information at one source.

This advice (“Harvard docs: Time is right for patient-centered health repositories, not portals” MobiHealthNews) from no lesser experts than 2 professors from Harvard encouraging one to take control of one’s medical data should not be ignored – and another example of collecting and protecting ……….

“The biggest difference between a personal health record and a hospital record is that many people, especially people with one or more chronic diseases, see a number of different care providers. As it stands, it’s hit or miss whether those care providers will have access to each other’s notes, which makes it hard for anyone to have a complete picture of the patient’s health.

“A patient-controlled health record infrastructure can support the development of highly desirable health system qualities,” the authors write. “First, it allows a patient to effectively become a health information exchange of one: as data accumulate in a patient-controlled repository, a complete picture of the patient emerges. If patients can obtain their data wherever they go, they can share them with physicians as needed — rather than vice versa. We believe the Meaningful Use program would have been more successful if it had rewarded clinicians for storing data in patient-controlled repositories rather than in EHRs that fragment data across the health care system.”

Mandl and Kohane conclude their piece with a call to action, saying that the government, healthcare providers, and the research community all need to work together to facilitate this sea change from hospital-based portals to patient-based personal health repositories.”