Health data infrastructure

  • Health
  • A vast amount of medical data is collected each and every day. And in today’s tech climate, we certainly have enough computing power at our disposal to process and analyse all this data. We simply do not do so because the majority of the data is still not easily accessible to all relevant parties.

    Fortunately, we are becoming increasingly aware that the data at our fingertips can, among other things, positively contribute to patient care. For example, throughout the coronavirus crisis, Dutch intensive care units shared their data and worked together to try to quickly improve the treatments available to seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The use of artificial intelligence also helps to identify new insights into which treatments work best for which patient.

    Why do we need health data infrastructure?

    COVID-19 is just one example. The potential benefits of the meaningful use of data are much greater. For example, we can use data to add value to healthcare, helping to prevent hospital admissions or overtreatments, for personalised medicine, to be quicker to diagnose conditions, and, in the case of many lifestyle diseases, we can focus on prevention so that citizens remain healthy in the first place.

    What will be the impact?

    An integrated health data infrastructure at a national level means that we can make data accessible to all relevant parties. This will allow for faster and better medical research. Supported by this infrastructure, we can use AI solutions to improve patient care, public health and disease prevention. At the same time, it can also have a substantial economic impact. So it is clear that medical data can have an invaluable impact on the future health of us all.

    Goals for 2021

    • Privacy and security are essential preconditions when it comes to using data. Ethical/legal ‘compliance by design’ must be the starting point. As such, in 2021 we will research both what is legally possible and socially desirable;
    • We are working on the first phase of the implementation, for two areas that are still to be determined;
    • More insight into investments and returns, in both society (for the ‘quadruple aim’) and financially;
    • Completion of the preparatory phase and submitting funding applications for the subsequent phases.

    Activities in 2021

    • Researching public acceptance and the legal and ethical aspects of sharing data;
    • Setting up the program department and project governance;
    • Setting up learning pathways with regional partners to lay the foundations for the national data infrastructure;
    • Promoting the mission and bringing attention to the purpose and potential benefits of integrated health data.

    Invitation to collaborate

    If you would like to contribute to Health data infrastructure, contact Jeroen Maas, Lead Health at Amsterdam Economic Board.

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