Emerging uses of health data

Health data is increasingly being used to help drive better outcomes, including improving diagnosis, reducing health inequalities, increasing patient participation, saving money and resources, and driving innovation. Some real-world examples for each of these follow:

Health data to improve diagnosis

Health data to reduce inequalities

  • Health data is being used across EU member states by integrating information systems to better address health inequalities, analyse health outcomes disaggregated by specific factors (socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity and education) and potentially reduce risk factor exposure of vulnerable groups.

  • In Brazil, data has been used to increase resource allocation, bringing more doctors to remote and low-income areas. When high rates of maternal mortality were seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, some states used this data to prioritise pregnant women for vaccinations, which is now a national policy.

Health data to encourage patient participation

  • The online research platform, PatientsLikeMe, allows patients with life-changing illnesses to share their experience using patient-reported outcomes. Responses to a survey from 1,323 participants (19% of the almost 7,000 members) showed that users perceived the greatest benefit as learning about their symptoms (72%) and rated the site as “moderately helpful” or “very helpful”. By enabling patients to make use of data about them, they were able to participate more actively in understanding their health and wellbeing.

  • Increasing the availability and sharing of data among stakeholders enabled greater patient participation in activities focused on reducing risks to eye health through the INSIGHT Health Data Hub.

Health data to save money

Health data to drive innovation

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