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How Healthy Are We? Public Health Data

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In fact, there are so many different issues to consider, including questions about preemption, enforcement mechanisms, regulatory structure, civil rights implications, law enforcement access and algorithmic accountability. Structured health data are standardized and easily transferable between health information systems. For example, a patient’s name, date of birth, or a blood-test result can be recorded in a structured data format. Emails, audio recordings, or physician notes about a patient are examples of unstructured health data. While advances in health information technology have expanded collection and use, the complexity of health data has hindered standardization in the health care industry.

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Many public health experts have been advocating that health data collection may be the best way to analyse information on a large-scale . However, the data-driven approach has also raised concerns on the side of privacy advocates, who worry about how the collected information is going to be used.

These touch points include, clinics/physician offices look at this, pharmacies, payers/insurance companies, hospitals, laboratories, and senior homes. Information is also collected through participation in clinical trials, health agency surveys, medical devices, and genomic testing. This data typically includes a record of services received, conditions of those services, and clinical outcomes consequent of those services. For example, a blood draw may be a service received, a white blood cell count may be a condition of that service, and a reported measurement of white blood cells may be an outcome of that service. Information also frequently collected and found in medical records includes, administrative and billing data, patient demographic information, progress notes, vital signs, medications diagnoses, immunization dates, allergies, and lab results.

  • Database of annual death registration data on causes of death by age and sex as reported from civil registration systems of more than 100 Member States.
  • This dashboard provides information on the number of COVID-19 tests administered daily in San Mateo County, including positive, negative and pending results.
  • Before sharing sensitive or personal information, make sure you’re on an official state website.
  • Measurable impact is at the heart of WHO’s plans to transform the future of public health.

Secondary use is when health data is used outside of health care delivery for that individual. Prior to recent technological advances, most health data were collected within health care systems. As individuals move through health care systems, they interact with health care providers and this interaction produces health information.

The framework for action also proposes the creation of an international convening mechanism for validation of artificial intelligence and digital health solutions. Health data can be used to benefit individuals, public health, and medical research and development. Primary use is when health data is used to deliver health care to the individual from whom it was collected.

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The advent of eHealth and advances in health information technology, however, have expanded the collection and use of health data—but have also engendered new security, privacy, and ethical concerns. The increasing collection and use of health data by patients is a major component of digital health. At the global level, a strategy on digital health was drafted at the 71th World Health Assembly, in May 2018, in close consultation with Member States and with inputs from stakeholders. The document identifies priority four strategic objectives, emphasising the importance of the transfer of knowledge amongst member states.

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