According to research published in Statista in 2025 the Big Data market in the healthcare system will reach a value of $70 billion, with a growth of 568% compared to 2016, when it was worth 11.5 billion. The use of information technology is the only revitalisation lever for healthcare systems challenged by the pandemic. Appropriate IT strategy and infrastructure become critical for rapid data integration across otherwise independent and isolated national, regional, and European systems.
Never before has data been a major player in all socio-economic sectors and especially within the healthcare system as it has been over the past year. As reported by a research published in Statista, in 2016 the global Big Data market in healthcare was valued at $11.5 billion of dollars: according to forecasts, accomplice to the Coronavirus pandemic that highlighted their importance in decision-making processes, it is estimated that in 2025 it could reach a value of $70 billion of dollars, with an exponential growth of 568%. The evolving health emergency has prompted governments and businesses to adopt products and tools that can keep track of the number of infections and overall public health data in a timely manner. In addition, United Kingdom, like the rest of the world, had to face another major challenge: the organisation of a national vaccination campaign that could guarantee the Covid-19 vaccine to all categories of people, quickly and effectively. For these initiatives to become a reality, data must be able to “travel” between different applications in order to be validated, processed and analysed.
But how can this strategy be implemented? “Detailed and accurate data related to the pandemic are absolutely necessary for the implementation of a truly informed decision-making process on public health – says Stefano Musso, CEO of Primeur. It is often thought that massive digitalisation and the adoption of new technologies, necessary to deliver healthcare services in an efficient and coordinated way, inevitably passes through a highly invasive and costly process. This is not always the case. It is not always necessary to focus on equipping a new, central and all-encompassing IT system, but on how to make the best use of the localized systems already in place, enabling them to communicate with each other automatically and securely. The data are there, the applications able to manage them vertically are also there, but it is necessary to find the way to make the data “travel” from one system to another in an automatic, controlled and secure way”.
How are we moving outside national borders? The creation of a European Data Space, including the health sector, is one of the Commission’s priorities for 2019-2025. With the publication of the European Strategy for Data, through the European Health Data Space (EHDS), the European Union aims to improve access to and facilitate the exchange of different types of health data, not only to support the delivery of health services, but also for research and policymaking purposes in the health sector. Promoting the secure exchange of patient data and the control of citizens and authorities with respect to health data, supporting digital health services and encouraging the use of data for research, developing guidelines and rules, with a reliable governance framework and compliance with data protection regulations (GDPR), are just some of the objectives of the European agreement. GDPR in particular is and will be an increasingly central issue that needs dedicated tools. In fact, to ensure data quality and interoperability, the Commission supports the mapping and adherence to the FAIR model, i.e. traceability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability of health data registries, in order to establish common rules for exchanges for research and policy-making purposes in the health sector. The infrastructure and technologies introduced will build on existing initiatives such as the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure and European Reference Networks (ERNs).
“Data has never played such a fundamental role in history as in the current crisis. At Primeur we have always focused on the importance and value of data for businesses and Public Administration – concludes Stefano Musso – In over 30 years of experience we have developed solutions and integration platforms that automate and ensure proper data management, as well as full compliance with GDPR. Spreading a greater awareness of the importance of entrusting data management to experts is fundamental. Using them in a certain and timely manner is essential in the historical period we are living in, in which there is an increasing need for an overall and transversal vision. This is what we’ve built our expertise on: since the 1980s we’ve applied this vision to the data management of banks and financial institutions, the first to work with sensitive data in a decentralised but integrated way. This is the only way to be always ready to evolve. If we centralise the IT system, we block development, we create a closed information world, while what is needed, and this pandemic has shown this in the public sector as well, is flexibility. The use of IT tools and strategies such as Data Integration ensures rapid decision-making and operational capacity, the reduction of errors and the saving of important resources, both human and economic”.
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