VirtualHealth Technologies, Inc., Announces That Its Associate, Private Access, Will Be Partnering with Genetic Alliance To Accelerate Medical Research While Protecting Privacy

2008-08-19 13:20:00

   Private Access and Genetic Alliance Announce Strategic Partnership to

            Accelerate Medical Research While Protecting Privacy

   Through an innovative public/private partnership, Private Access will

    launch its suite of web-based privacy management and clinical trials

       recruitment tools with Genetic Alliance network participants.

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 19 /EMWNews/ -- Private Access,

Inc., and Genetic Alliance, a 501(c)(3) organization, announced today that

they have formed a novel public-private partnership designed to

simultaneously protect patients' privacy rights while creating a faster and

more cost effective way for researchers to connect with patients in order

to find causes and treatments for chronic illnesses and diseases. Leaders

of both organizations believe that their combined efforts will help

transform today's medical research environment, saving time and money,

producing better outcomes, and in a manner that respects each individual

patient's right to decide with whom they share their confidential health


    The announcement was made today in conjunction with the prestigious

Harvard Privacy Symposium and 16th Annual National HIPAA Summit. Private

Access' founder and CEO, Robert Shelton, speaking on a panel entitled

"Privacy and Technology: Giving Patients Control Over Uses of Their Health

Information," previewed both the company's planned technology and the

strategic partnership struck with Genetic Alliance. In his comments,

Shelton observed that, "this is a game-changing moment where the proponents

of an extremely well-conceived technology focusing on privacy and

controlling access rights to highly confidential health records and a

patient population that has an uncommonly high need for these tools come

together to solve a problem that has historically been a major impediment

to health data exchange."

    Shelton, who also serves as chairman of a national non-profit disease

advocacy organization that is a Genetic Alliance network participant,

explained that the partnership between Private Access and Genetic Alliance

will address the current problem that maintaining patient privacy and

providing access to medical records are inherently at odds. "Getting a

proper resolution to this complex issue accelerates the translation of

research into diagnostics and treatments," said Sharon F. Terry, President

and CEO of Genetic Alliance.

    "Our vision for harmonizing privacy and access through a suite of

web-based software applications is ideally suited to the needs of those who

suffer from chronic illness and genetic diseases," said Shelton. Explaining

the unusual step of forming a partnership between a for-profit company and

a not-for-profit, Terry added, "Genetic Alliance's mission is to transform

health through genetics and to do so in part through novel partnerships in

advocacy. Robert has run one of the disease support organizations in our

network and understands the needs and issues of these organizations.

Private Access has the right technology, at the right time to serve

individuals, families, providers, researchers and all healthcare

stakeholders dealing with genetic conditions and chronic disease. By

working together, I'm convinced we can create an essential environment of

trust that empowers people to be the solution."

    "Our approach is to empower individuals to protect the privacy of their

personal health information while simultaneously authorizing stakeholders

to access to that information to find treatments to diseases quicker," said

Marc D. Kirshbaum, president of Private Access. Kirshbaum further

commented, "Genetic Alliance has been very successful convening diverse

stakeholders - including disease-specific advocacy organizations,

universities, companies, government agencies, and policy organizations - to

explore and create novel partnerships to overcome the historical barriers

required to reduce medical research costs and speed the process of finding

treatments. Earlier this year, we saw this in Genetic Alliance's role in

advocating for the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) which

was passed by the US Congress and signed into law by the President."

    Adds Kirshbaum, "Private Access is honored to be working with Genetic

Alliance in this transformative initiative. Our privacy management,

clinical trials recruitment and records sharing tools complement Genetic

Alliance's network to accelerate medical research."

    Private Access is building a technology platform that will give

individuals a chance to be as explicit as they wish relative to who, when

and under what circumstances others can access and use their personal

medical information and to easily apply these explicit privacy rules to all

conceivable uses of that information. In its first generation, the Private

Access technology will be embodied in several user-centric applications

that employ these individual directives to overcome the regulatory hurdles

surrounding privacy in the recruitment of study subjects for medical


    About Genetic Alliance

    Genetic Alliance transforms health through genetics, using an

environment of openness centered on the health of individuals, families,

and communities. Genetic Alliance brings together diverse stakeholders that

create novel partnerships in advocacy; integrates individual, family, and

community perspectives to improve health systems; and revolutionizes access

to information to enable translation of research into services and

individualized decision making. For more information about Genetic

Alliance, visit

    About Private Access

    Private Access, Inc. develops web-based applications that solve the

significant privacy hurdle that the medical community faces when attempting

to recruit subjects for clinical trials and to share confidential records

in pursuit of faster diagnoses and better treatments for diseases and

chronic illnesses. The company's vision is to leverage its method for

individuals to establish and manage their dynamic electronic consent and

its suite of solutions to transform the healthcare industry - creating a

unique environment of trust for consumers and accelerating research at a

considerably lower cost. Founded in 2006, Private Access is headquartered

in Aliso Viejo, California and holds several patents covering its

proprietary technology. For more information, visit

Contact: Geri L. Schanz, APR, 949-499-1869 or Contact: Shareholder Relations VirtualHealth Technologies, Inc. 325 West Main Street, Suite 240 Lexington, KY 40507 (859) 455-9255 Email: Website:

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