According to the magazine The Economist, data is becoming the world’s most valuable resource.
Data more valuable than oil?
So why is information more valuable than oil or gold? Let me share an example on how even small bits of data can create valuable insights given by Peter Sondergaard, global head of research at Gartner Inc.
Consider this example: An elevator company packages and sells the data it collects to landlords. An elevator company? Collecting data? Selling it? Talk about thinking outside the box (sorry I couldn’t resist)!
Think about it. The elevator company tracks how many people access each company on every floor in the office buildings it services. Once it pairs that information with publicly available financial data for those companies, the elevator company can then advise landlords on which companies will likely require additional floor space due to growth. On the flip side, the elevator company can alert the landlord about declining traffic to a particular office. If that information correlates with a decline in financial performance for that firm, it provides a warning signal that the tenant might be at risk of defaulting on or not renewing their lease. Insight like this is worth a lot of money to landlords.
Data & healthcare
If such a small bit of information can generate value for an elevator company. Imagine the enormous opportunities that we can find in the vast quantities of health data generated in society each day. Personalized medicine, healthier populations, a more efficient healthcare system, innovative new businesses, it can all become reality through smarter use of data.
How can policy-makers take action?
For healthcare to be able to seize this opportunity there is a lot of work to be done. Here policy makers have a significant role to play:
- You need to make sure that your regions support and develop data infrastructure to advance research
- data needs to be open and shared between stakeholders to boost innovation
- at the same time the integrity and security of citizens’ data need to be protected
These are major challenges, but definitely doable if we continue to band together exchanging experiences, sharing practices and providing mutual capacity building. By working as one AER we can drive smart policies that benefits our regions and support a European Digital Single Market.
Get on the train!
If you are curious about the future of healthcare and the role of Big data we would like you to join this AER ehealth network workshop to explore how we together can lay the foundation for smarter use of data, that can boost citizens health, improve the sustainability of the healthcare system and accelerate innovation and growth in your region.
Welcome to the AER eHealth networks workshop during the fall plenaries in Nancy
When? September 14th, 10.00-11.00
Where? Place Stanislas – Hotel de Ville – Ground Floor Room, Nancy, France
Gustav Söderlund is the Coordinator of the AER e-health network chaired by Agneta Granström. He is E-health Strategic Officer at the Department of Research & Innovation of the Region of Norrbotten. Gustav also organised the ALEC conference which brought together 300 participants from 16 countries in the world this year around the themes of digital transformation & health equity.
Photo via Visualhunt.com