Health in the 21st Century

Putting Data to Work for Stronger Health Systems

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This report explores how data and digital technology can help achieve policy objectives and drive positive transformation in the health sector while managing new risks such as privacy, equity and implementation costs. It examines the following topics: improving service delivery models; empowering people to take an active role in their health and their care; improving public health; managing biomedical technologies; enabling better collaboration across borders; and improving health system governance and stewardship. It also examines how health workforces should be equipped to make the most of digital technology. The report contains findings from surveys of OECD countries and shares a range of examples that illustrate the potential benefits as well as challenges of the digital transformation in the health sector. Findings and recommendations are relevant for policymakers, health care providers, payers, industry as well as patients, citizens and civil society.



Harnessing data to manage biomedical technologies

Routine and real-world data (RWD) – data that are generated during normal health system activities – can be deployed to advance evidence for medical technologies such as drugs, medical devices, combination products and precision medicine. Health systems have typically relied on evidence generated through prospective trials to inform the biomedical technology ecosystem, including discovery, research, policy and practice. While highly rigorous, clinical trials have a number of limitations. Scientific advances and changing global health needs, together with growing volume of electronic data and the technology to analyse them, mean that evidence from prospective trials can and should be complemented by real-world evidence (RWE) generated from routine data. Using examples and survey results, the chapter discusses the opportunities, challenges and policy implications of using RWD in regulating, pricing and using biomedical technology. It provides recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders on how to implement a new data-driven approach to manage biomedical products more effectively.


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