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Big data + politics = open data: The case of health care data in England

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JournalPolicy and Internet
DatePublished - 1 Jun 2013
Issue number2
Volume5
Pages (from-to)228-243
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There is a great deal of enthusiasm about the prospects for Big Data held in health care systems around the world. Health care appears to offer the ideal combination of circumstances for its exploitation, with a need to improve productivity on the one hand and the availability of data that can be used to identify opportunities for improvement on the other. The enthusiasm rests on two assumptions. First, that the data sets held by hospitals and other organizations, and the technological infrastructure needed for their acquisition, storage, and manipulation, are up to the task. Second, that organizations outside health care systems will be able to access detailed datasets. We argue that both assumptions can be challenged. The article uses the example of the National Health Service in England to identify data, technology, and information governance challenges. The public acceptability of third party access to detailed health care datasets is, at best, unclear.

    Research areas

  • Big Data, health care, information technologies, Open Data

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