Biobanking in Denmark is regulated via patients' rights laws, data protection laws, and research ethics reviews. Danish law recognizes tissue samples as personal data for purposes of the data protection laws, meaning research with tissue samples may be subject to research ethics review, data protection laws, and patients' rights requirements depending on the circumstances of collection. However, research on information gained through whole genome sequencing is subject only to data protection laws, despite the similarity in the nature of the information. The regulatory framework treats biobank samples collected from patients differently than samples collected from research participants, particularly with respect to autonomy. Importantly, biobanks established for future unspecified research are not subject to research ethics review. Biobank-based research has gained more prominence on the national level recently, and the potential for a less fragmented and more consistent regulatory approach may emerge from this attention.
Use of shared electronic health records opens a whole range of new possibilities for flexible and fruitful cooperation among health personnel in different health institutions, to the benefit of the patients. There are, however, unsolved legal and security challenges. The overall aim of this article is to highlight legal and security challenges that should be considered before using shared electronic cooperation platforms and health record systems to avoid legal and security "surprises" subsequent to the implementation. Practical lessons learned from the use of a web-based ulcer record system involving patients, community nurses, GPs, and hospital nurses and doctors in specialist health care are used to illustrate challenges we faced. Discussion of possible legal and security challenges is critical for successful implementation of shared electronic collaboration systems. Key challenges include (1) allocation of responsibility, (2) documentation routines, (3) and integrated or federated access control. We discuss and suggest how challenges of legal and security aspects can be handled. This discussion may be useful for both current and future users, as well as policy makers.
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