Health care used to be local. You went to the neighborhood doctor for your physical or to a pediatrician for your kids. If something went wrong, there was a local hospital. You got insurance, if at all, through your employer, who likely went through the local Blue Cross Blue Shield plan. These entities were all independent, and data sharing between these entities was largely limited to sending in claims information so doctors could get paid.
As with most industries, times certainly have changed. Your doctor is part of a large physician group. Your hospital is owned by a national conglomerate. The health insurer may have merged several times. Managed care has made data even more important, and increased movement towards “accountable care” and risk sharing have exploded the need to share data. At the same time, we now have electronic health records, personal health records, health information exchanges, mobile applications, wearables and more, all collecting and sharing our health information, for a broad variety of public and private purposes.