Intelligent Issue 05 | Page 30

However , owing to fundamental flaws in the way that the majority of global health data is stored , accessed and leveraged , its wealth of potential remains largely unrealised . Before we are able to accelerate efforts to tackle the global disease burden , we must first unlock the power of patient data by giving healthcare professionals , scientists and population health experts complete , convenient and connected access .
Data : healthcare ’ s most precious resource ?
To fully understand the urgency of the need to better engage with patient data , it ’ s necessary to appreciate the nature of the information captured , how this delivers actionable insights and the scope of these insights ’ transformative potential for global health outcomes .
Trillions of new raw data points are generated every day : from national health systems , wearable devices , medical technologies and the life sciences sector . Every time a patient visits their doctor , has a blood test or starts a course of medication , they leave behind a data footprint . When millions of these footprints are integrated with other data points – including social , personal and activity – a holistic , multi-dimensional picture of population health can be captured and leveraged .
This detailed picture can be used to target health interventions and to map their impact , track and prevent disease spread and guide the allocation of funding , service provision and research resources . In addition , data from specific diseases can train AI models to diagnose patients earlier , accelerate drug R & D and identify previously unknown comorbidities , symptoms and risk factors .
Data in action
In 2022 , the NHS launched the Galleri Trial , a pioneering project to improve the early detection of more than 50 types of cancer . Today , DNA data gathered from around 140,000 trial participants is currently being used to test the efficacy of a new diagnostic test – the Galleri Test – which could dramatically improve health providers ’ ability to identify and treat cancer patients in the early stages . This is a project which depends heavily on accessible patient data – it was used to accelerate the recruitment of eligible patients and will be used to draw
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