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Study on Big Data in Public Health, Telemedicine and Healthcare

The European Commission has published a 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.

After assessing the added value and the quality of the evidence, the study selects ten priority examples of use cases of big data in health. Furthermore, potential policy actions for the implementation of big data in health are identified, and a SWOT analysis has been conducted to check the feasibility of these proposed actions.

Based on this analysis, and with the help of renowned experts, the study team developed ten policy recommendations in the field. These recommendations were validated through public consultations at three relevant conferences in Europe and were again reviewed by the expert group.

The study's recommendations aim to maximise the 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.

The recommendations outlined in this study will feed into the Commission's actions to develop a big data value chain in the context of the European Digital Single Market strategy.