Protecting patients' medical information in the digital age is no easy feat. The issue, a topic of this Hamburg, Germany, conference, is especially a problem in the U.S., where patient consent isn't needed to distribute electronic health data to insurers and employers. That can contribute to some scary behavior: In 2000, the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that 586,000 Americans chose to forgo early cancer treatment. A top concern? Privacy.
A version of this article appeared in the October 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.