Background work > Well-being

Data-driven innovation: Big data for growth and well-being

Today, the generation and use of huge volumes of data are redefining our “intelligence” capacity and our social and economic landscapes, spurring new industries, processes and products, and creating significant competitive advantages. In this sense, data-driven innovation (DDI) has become a key pillar of 21st-century growth, with the potential to significantly enhance productivity, resource efficiency, economic competitiveness, and social well-being.

Greater access to and use of data create a wide array of impacts and policy challenges, ranging from privacy and consumer protection to open access issues and measurement concerns, across public and private health, legal and science domains. The report Data-driven Innovation: Big Data for Growth and Well-being aims to improve the evidence base on the role of DDI for promoting growth and well-being, and provide policy guidance on how to maximise the benefits of DDI and mitigate the associated economic and societal risks.

>> More OECD work on data-driven innovation

Making better use of health data

Modern health care systems produce mountains of electronic data, which are now also generated outside health care systems as most aspects of human activity and interaction become digitalised in the modern global economy. The information potentially residing in these data can be very useful to promote health, and to improve health care – a particularly information- and knowledge-intensive industry.

Digital technology: Making better use of health data is a chapter of publication New Health Technologies: Managing Access, Value and Sustainability. The chapter describes various opportunities for harnessing health data, citing examples where the potential is being realised. It discusses the challenges of using health data and sets out a policy framework for managing risks while realising the benefits of health data. The costs of implementing digital technology across societies and health care systems are also discussed. This is followed by a more in-depth discussion of the electronic health record (EHR), drawing on the findings from a 2016 study of EHR development and use in 30 OECD countries.

>> See also: OECD Recommendation on Health Data Governance

>> More on health policies and data

Dementia and big data

OECD countries are developing strategies to improve the quality of life of those affected by dementia and to support long-term efforts for a disease-modifying therapy or cure. 

The report Dementia Research and Care: Can Big Data Help? follows a September 2014 workshop that aimed to advance international discussion of the opportunities and challenges, as well as successful strategies, for sharing and linking the massive amounts of population-based health and health care data that are routinely collected (broad data) with detailed clinical and biological data (deep data) to create an international resource for research, planning, policy development, and performance improvement. The workshop sought to provide new insights into the opportunities and challenges in making “broad and deep” data a reality – from funding to data standards, to data sharing, to new analytics, to protecting privacy, and to engaging with stakeholders and the public.

>> More OECD work on dementia

>> More OECD work on big data