by Sean Pauzauskie, MD

In the recent legislative session, House Bill 24-1058 Protect Privacy of Biological Data made history by passing both chambers with near unanimity. On April 17, it became the first law of its kind in the nation, signed by Governor Polis, and made national headlines.

By way of this legislation, I have come to realize that our influence as physicians extends far beyond the walls of the exam room, reaching into the realm of policy and legislation.

Action is critical and through collective partnership, we can make a tangible difference. This bill started as an idea from speaking with my patient in the exam room; then became a CMS Central Line Proposal; and then with the help of CMS, the NeuroRights Foundation, Representatives Cathy Kipp and Matt Soper and Senators Mark Baisley and Kevin Priola, became a bill that made its way through the legislative process.

As physicians, we witness firsthand the changes that can enhance medicine in Colorado. By taking concerted action, we can actualize these improvements into law.

For a long time, I have seen the promise of neurotechnologies, and wanted to promote their innovation, while at the same time ensuring safety and privacy for patients. Neurotechnologies have the ability to collect vital brain data that we can learn from and use to treat patients. I want to protect the patients of Colorado so that they feel their personal biological data is secure when using this technology to heal.

I feared that without guard rails, patients could be exploited – identified, or biased against – in unprecedented ways based on the data our brains share, especially considering the emerging market of easy-to-obtain consumer products that fall outside of the realm of HIPAA.

HB24-1058 provides a simple, reasonable, balanced approach towards the protection of patients, and clear standards to promote and incentivize innovation in the coming age of neurotechnology for Colorado. Colorado takes care of its own and as a member of the Colorado physician community, I felt that I needed to help protect the data that makes us us.

Physicians in Colorado are responsible for initiating the first law in the nation for the protection of privately collected biological and neural data, a real win for patients and trust in the era of medical-grade consumer neurotechnology. I feel a deep sense of honor knowing I worked to create this change for my patients.

Thank you for your continued support of such efforts, which promise to improve the lives of patients and change the practice of medicine for the better! It is resounding proof that the unified physicians’ voice still matters.

When you see something that could improve, or needs to improve, to better medicine – speak up. Reach out to CMS to learn how to amplify your voice. I am glad I did.

Categories: Communications, Colorado Medicine, Final Word, Resources, Initiatives, Advocacy