The healthcare sector generates massive volumes of data, which has “immense potential” to protect and promote health and to improve healthcare and cure, according to the EU’s Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis. Speaking at the “Big Data: Connected solutions for better healthcare” conference held in Brussels last week (25-26 January), the EU health chief stressed the importance of big data in healthcare, saying that its usage could identify patterns that will, in turn, lead to new prevention, diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. “At the same time, it could decrease inefficiencies and reduce waste, time and resources,” Andriukaitis noted.
He singled out the importance of the European Reference Networks, whose aim is to provide cross-border healthcare cooperation between European countries to treat rare and complex diseases. “The success of ERNs also depends on big data: they will compile fragmented health data sets, generate new clinical, genetic, behavioural, and environmental data and make use of these data,” the EU official said.
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