On 21 November 2019, Health Ministers and high-level officials from OECD countries will convene in Denmark to debate ‘Health within the 21st Century: Data, Policy and Digital Technology.’
They will discuss the way to best deploy digital technology— and its lifeblood: data—to advance the health of people and populations. a part of their deliberations will specialize in the way to foster trust and co-operation within and across countries to cause this important agenda.
But, why are ‘soft’ elements like trust important in a neighborhood that's principally about technology and science? Moreover, why is it a priority for political leaders and policymakers?
Health Systems are foregoing a chance to Expand Knowledge
Modern health systems are awash with data. These data have a variety of principal uses starting from clinical to administrative. However, because digital information is often shared at minimal incremental cost, these data are often re-deployed towards other important purposes like research or public health interventions.
However, in stark contrast to other industries, health systems rarely put their data to figure during this way. Indeed, only a minority of OECD countries regularly link available datasets for research. The consequence is that in many countries, it's hard to detect whether healthcare treatments and services produce an honest outcome for patients or a poor one, like deaths, readmissions to hospitals, inappropriate prescriptions, or gaps in needed care. It’s also very difficult to use real-world data to advance life science and supply new treatments and better services.
Failure to use data to get new knowledge may be a lost opportunity. However, the key challenges—which include (legitimate) concerns over privacy and a scarcity of common data exchange standards—can not be solved by technology. They require trust and co-operation among stakeholders.
Trust through Good Governance
Personal health data are very sensitive, which suggests trust is critical in enabling their use. Patients and therefore the public must be confident that their data are secure and guarded and, if re-used, that this serves purposes that are per their values and preferences.