The European Commission has published a new study on big data in public health, telemedicine and healthcare. It outlines policy recommendations in 10 areas: awareness raising, education and training, data sources, open data and data sharing, applications and purposes, data analysis, governance of data access and use, standards, funding and financial resources, and legal and privacy aspects.
Using Big Data in health has many potential benefits. It may contribute to, for example, increasing the effectiveness and quality of treatments available for patients, widening possibilities for disease prevention by identifying risk factors at population, sub-population, and individual levels, improving pharmacovigilance and patient safety, and reducing inefficiency and waste.
The study’s 10 recommendations are aimed at maximizing opportunities Big Data can bring to public health in the EU – to improve the health of individual patients as well as the performance of Member States’ health systems. All recommendations are underpinned by principles such as the need to uphold ethical standards and the privacy or safety of citizens, and to include stakeholders – such as patient advocacy groups, when implementing them.