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NHS gets it but will we get it?

Posted on: Wednesday 21st of July 2010

Hats off to the NHS, they really seem to have got the data tiger by the tail in their white paper entitled Equity and Excellent: Liberating the NHS. Not only have they understood the importance of releasing the organisational data to enable the citizen, but they also seem to have understood the power of combining that with the personal data. The following lift from the paper makes this blog rather long but each part is important. There is a BIG win win in this statement of intent the key question is does the level of understanding of the intention match the level of value that it will unlock for everyone that touches the NHS.

“We will enable patients to have control of their health records…. The patient will determine who else can access their records…. We will consult on arrangements, including appropriate confidentiality safeguards, later this year. Our aim is that people should be able to share their records with third parties, such as support groups for patients, who can help patients understand their records and manage their condition better. We will make it simple for a patient to download their record and pass it, in a standard format, to any organisation of their choice.”

“We intend to make aggregate data available in a standard format to allow intermediaries to analyse and present it to patients in an easily understandable way. Making aggregated, anonymised data available to the university and research sectors also has the potential to suggest new areas of research through medical and scientific analysis. There will be safeguards to protect personally identifiable information. We will consider introducing a voluntary accreditation system, which will allow information intermediaries to apply for a kitemark to demonstrate to the public that they meet quality standards.”
They certainly appear to have understood that there is a market to be made in the use of the data, a market that will enable development of drugs and treatment more cost effectively, enable the use of drugs more effectively and enable the patient to have more choice and control.”