UK Relaunches Controversial Care.data Initiative

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hGraph: patient + clinician looking togetherby Angela Guess

Roland Moore-Colyer of V3 reports, “The NHS has relaunched the postponed Care.data initiative as part of a commitment to using big data to improve the delivery of public sector healthcare. Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information at NHS England, confirmed that the project was back as part of an effort to drive new big data initiatives in the NHS. ‘Care.data is starting again now. There are some Pathfinder localities which are going to begin to work with local communities on extracting data, linking GP data with hospital data, and building new ways in which we can analyse the pathway of care that patients travel down,’ he said at the WANDisco Big Data breakfast event, attended by V3.”

He goes on, “Kelsey said the Care.data initiative is being relaunched with legal safeguards to protect patient privacy in an effort to reassure the public the system is safe. ‘Care.data seemed like it was failure last year when we had to bring it to a halt because of the media campaign and legitimate public concerns [over privacy],’ he acknowledged. Kelsey is also spearheading initiatives that will focus on the transparency of data, and participation between patients and healthcare services in the use of medical records. ‘In relation to transparency, 2015 is going to be the biggest year the NHS has ever had. And we are very serious about making the NHS a global leader in data-driven public service,’ he explained. Kelsey said that data transparency ensures that the proper patient care is being delivered by the healthcare service.”

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