The small box inside Amanda Hubbard’s chest beams all kinds of data about her faulty heart to the company that makes her defibrillator implant.
Ms. Hubbard herself, however, can’t easily get that information unless she requests summaries from her doctor—whom she rarely sees since losing her insurance. In short, the data gathered by the Medtronic Inc. MDT -0.14% implant isn’t readily accessible to the person whose heartbeat it tracks.
“This is my health information,” said Ms. Hubbard, 36 years old. “They are collecting it from my chest.”
The U.S. has strict privacy laws guaranteeing people access to traditional health files. But implants and other new technologies—including smartphone apps and over-the-counter monitors—are testing the very definition of medical records.