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Population data science - a snapshot from around Europe

31 October 2017

Experts from eight European countries gathered recently in Helsinki to discuss health and well-being data; How it is being used? How might it be better used? And how might countries cooperate to safely share and conduct research in the future.

According to Rosalyn Moran from the Health Research Board,

'This new field of population data science holds tremendous opportunities for the future. It could make a significant contribution to improving people's health and healthcare delivery'.

Experts from five of the attending countries, the Netherlands, Ireland, Estonia, the United Kingdom and Finland were asked the questions underneath. Their answers and comments can be viewed in the video clips at the link below.

The questions:

  1. What is going on concerning the secondary use of social and well-being data in your country?
  2. In your opinion, what would be the most important next step in enhancing international co-operation concerning the use of well-being data?
  3. How can we help to ensure that people have trust when their social and well-being data for research and development?
  4. What do you think will be the most inspiring change in future concerning the use of the health data?

Ros continued,

'The HRB has already analysed the situation in Ireland and identified what we need to do next to utilise our health data in a safe, secure manner that protects the privacy and confidentiality of the data subjects. The DASSL (Data, Access, Storage, Sharing and Linkage) model outlines the infastructures and services needed  to create this robust data sharing environment. Implementing the DASSL model would help to ensure that policy, planning and practice in the health area are based on sound evidence'.

The HRB's analysis can be found in the report Proposals for an Enabling Data Environment for Health and Related Research in Ireland  (published 24 May 2016). It is available for download from the Publications section of the HRB website.

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