Roughly two weeks apart, on July 21, 2022 and August 5, 2022, respectively, Amazon made headlines for agreeing to acquire One Medical, “a human-centered and technology-powered primary care organization,” for approximately $3.9 billion and iRobot, a global consumer robot company, known for its creation of the Roomba vacuum,

On July 11, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published “Location, health, and other sensitive information: FTC committed to fully enforcing the law against illegal use and sharing of highly sensitive data,” on its Business Blog.  The blog post is likely related to an Executive Order (the “EO”) signed by President Biden in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. Among other things, the EO directed the FTC to consider taking steps to protect consumers’ privacy when seeking information about and related to the provision of reproductive health care services.

While this latest drumbeat on this issue came from the FTC, we expect to see attention to this issue by other regulators, including, perhaps, the Department of Justice as well as state attorneys general.

Although the FTC post centers on location data and reproductive health services, it is likely that there will be more scrutiny of the collection and use of location data in general. This renewed focus will potentially subject a wide group of digital ecosystem participants to increased attention.  The spotlight will likely fall on interactive platforms, app publishers, software development kit (SDK) developers, data brokers and data analytics firms – over practices concerning the collection, sharing and perceived misuse of data generally.

It’s not as trendy as Twitter or as headline-grabbing as Myspace, but health information technology is getting something that they won’t be getting – a massive infusion of federal cash.

Pushed to the back pages a bit in the attention given to the recently signed federal stimulus legislation (H.R. 1) are the provisions that aim to give a huge push to the adoption of electronic health records (“EHR”) and thereby improve health care quality, prevent medical errors, and reduce health care costs, among many other projected benefits identified in the bill.

The federal push for the adoption of electronic health records is backed up with a projected near-$20 billion in federal funds over the next half-decade, making health IT a likely an area of major growth for technology providers.