New data strategy introduced in the UK to drive innovation and improve efficiency in the health sector.
The UK recently announced a new data strategy for health data, which focuses on 7 principles to harness the data-driven power and innovation exhibited during the pandemic, and use it to improve the future of healthcare. These principles will be implemented to drive transformation in health care, and create a secure system for both patients and professionals, which prioritizes privacy. The principles set out in the data strategy include improving trust in the health care system’s use of data, giving health care professionals the information they need to provide the best care, improving data for adult social care, supporting local decision-makers with data, empowering researchers with the data they need to develop life-changing treatments and diagnostics, and working with partners to develop innovations that improve health care by developing the right technical infrastructure.
Secure data environments will be made the default for the health sector, and de-identified data will be used to perform research.
In order to give patients the confidence that their personal information is safe, the NHS will make secure data environments the default, and adult social care organisations will provide access to de-identified data for research. As a result, data linked to a single individual will never leave a secure server, and de-identified will only be used for research purposes. This is expected to enable the delivery of cutting-edge life-saving treatments and quicker diagnosis through clinical trials, as well as more diverse and inclusive research to tackle health inequalities. The public will be consulted on a new ‘data pact’, which will set out how the healthcare system will use patient data and what the public has the right to expect from it.
The new data strategy aims to digitize and improve several processes, providing ease to both patients and healthcare providers.
The new data strategy introduced in the UK will also include some key commitments to patients, giving them greater access to and control over their data. This will incorporate the simplification of the opt-out process for data sharing and improved access to records via the NHS App. The strategy also commits to a target of 75% of the adult population to be registered to use the NHS App by March 2024, making it a one stop shop for health needs. This new data strategy aims to have at least 80% of social care providers to have a digitised care record in place by March 2024.