NHS England and the GovLab launch a report on the potential of Open Data in health and social care

NHS England and GovLab have today launched a blueprint – The Open Data Era in health and social care report – for accelerating the use of open data in health and care settings.

The availability of open data can empower citizens and help care providers, patients and researchers make better decisions, spur new innovations and identify efficiencies. The report was commissioned by NHS England and written by GovLab, part of New York University and world leaders in the field of open data usage. It puts forward a proposal for how the health and care system can maximise the impact of sharing open data through establishing priorities and clear ways of measuring benefits.

Over the next few months, NHS England will work together with stakeholders to explore the ideas set out in the report, building a consensus about open data and testing ideas about its impact and value.

Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information for NHS England, said:

“There’s an urgent need for the NHS to use better information and evidence to guide decision-making and investment for better outcomes for patients. A key element of this is open data.  We know with scientific and medical research, the rate of discovery is accelerated by better access to data.

“This report will kick start a conversation and over the coming months I’m keen to hear the views of colleagues, citizens and patients on how we can take this forward to improve outcomes and support a sustainable NHS delivering the highest quality of care.”

Stefaan Verhulst, Co-founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the GovLab:

“The blueprint lays out a detailed plan to start a conversation about how to gather the evidence needed to understand and assess the shape and size of the impact of open health data.”

“It is important to pay a comparable level of attention to an analysis of open data’s potential benefits, as well as potential risks.”