Policy implications of big data in the health sector

Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Volume 96, Number 1, January 2018, 1-76

Policy implications of big data in the health sector
— Effy Vayena, Joan Dzenowagis, John S Brownstein & Aziz Sheikh
In the field of health-related big data, the public needs to be reassured that security measures are mandated and enforced. Policies can, and should, address the adoption of appropriate technologies, the evaluation and monitoring of security systems and accountability and transparency mechanisms, e.g. legal remedies and compensation for those harmed by security breaches. Data security, as a societal and technological norm, will continue to evolve while the big-data approach demands more regulatory oversight, responsive policies and technical skills.
Future policies must take into account the distinct challenges posed by big data as well as the potential benefits. They also need to be applicable to the full range of stakeholders, not least to the general public and must be accompanied by a level of accountability that, over time, is sufficient to maintain the public’s trust and confidence in data usage.