Your health data is important. You should be aware of how it is stored, shared, and who has access to it. This information is even more critical for athletes, as their health data is in demand and can cost them opportunities and potentially millions of dollars.

By Tim Spring

Indicio recently hosted an in-depth discussion on athlete health data featuring HONOR Data Rights Management CEO Kristy Gale that includes a great breakdown and thorough examination of this topic. We highly encourage you to give it a watch or a listen if you have time. 

The Problem:

Athletes, particularly student athletes, are the source of a lot of data. Health, biometric, and even tracking data are all collected by teams, medical services, and wearable devices that the athletes use to monitor their workouts. 

All this data is gathered, used, and often shared without the athlete’s consent. Recruiters can get their hands on a surprising amount of data that you would think would be private, for example, how many times a player has sprained their ankle or visited the onsite medical team. They do this through legal loopholes or by going directly to the healthcare provider without the athlete’s knowledge. 

The simple truth is that gaps in current laws and business practices leave sensitive health data open for third parties to access. While athletes feel the effects the most, everyone should be able to know who can access their data. We need a technical solution that puts control of the data back into the hands of athletes and everyday people.

How Verifiable Credentials can help:

Verifiable credentials are a technology that allows for a packet of information to be created using a decentralized ledger and securely stored on an end user’s mobile device. By storing the information in this way, you can be sure that the data is only shared with whoever the end user chooses, and by creating the package in this decentralized manner, you can be sure that the end user does not have the ability to change the information inside.

When it comes to athlete health data, all of the data they are creating, including statistics, physiological performance, evaluations, biometric data, tracking data, and more, can all be issued to the athlete as a tamper-proof credential. This accomplishes a few things:

1. It removes liability from teams, colleges, medical providers, and anyone who used to store this data.

2. It gives the athlete complete control over the information. It can still be shared with any party that needs to see it, but now they need to ask the data owner, who can choose to share all or just specific parts of the data.

3. All the data is now in one convenient place, no need to track down all the sources of the information when it is requested.

4. The data can be assumed to be as trusted as the source. The user doesn’t need to waste time double checking or verifying with the issuing party because any changes to the data would be visible on the decentralized ledger and “break” the credential.

5. The data can be easily shared with trusted partners, such as an agent for an athlete, who can share it on the athlete’s behalf if necessary.

By providing information in this new, technical way, we give control over their data back to the athletes. Not only do they have legal recourse should they find out their data has been misused, but they can also stop their data from being wrongfully shared at the point of request. 

If you find this topic interesting and would like to learn more about how athlete data is currently collected, held, and shared, the recent Indicio Meetup on this subject is a great place to start.

If you are interested in learning more about verifiable credentials and how they can apply to your business for faster data sharing, removing reliance on paper processes, and more, you can read Indicio’s full solution Proven.

If you have specific questions about the technology feel free to get in touch with Indicio’s team of industry experts and we’d be happy to help.


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