Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data

UK Department of Health and Social Care: “In England and in every community around the world, digital developments have been essential to the pandemic response. People have accessed advice and care remotely in unprecedented numbers, helping keep them and their families safe. World class genomics helped identify and track new variants. Daily analysis allowed problems to be understood rapidly, and resources redeployed. Staff worked remotely. And the COVID-19 vaccination service was mobilised in record time.

Such an efficient and effective response was only possible because of investment in digital systems, innovation and skills over the last few years, and the partnerships forged between digital, clinical and operational colleagues.

The opportunity now is for the health and care sector to apply such approaches with increased urgency and consistency to both our long-term challenges and to the immediate tasks of rebuilding from the pandemic. We have a responsibility to do both.

The Digital Transformation Plan sets out the overarching vision for how we will digitise, connect and transform the health and care sector. This data strategy explains in more detail the role that data will play in that transformation and how it can inspire effective collaboration across the NHS, adult social care, and public health, help us care for people in the best possible way, and ensuring that our citizens have the best experience possible when using the system.

There are 3 key priorities which underpin this strategy:

  • first to build understanding on how data is used and the potential for data-driven innovation, improving transparency so the public has control over how we are using their data
  • second to make appropriate data sharing the norm and not the exception across health, adult social care and public health, to provide the best care possible to the citizens we serve, and to support staff throughout the health and care system
  • third to build the right foundations – technical, legal, regulatory – to make that possible…(More)”.