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Big Data, Big Possibilities: How Australia can use big data for better healthcare

As Australia’s population grows older, new and profound challenges to Australia’s health care system are emerging. In this context, it is essential the policymakers explore all the opportunities that new technologies make possible.

Big Data is an overarching term that describes any voluminous amount of data that can be mined for information. In no other area is the use of such data more beneficial than health. Big Data, Big Possibilities explores how Australia’s health system could be improved through strategically using these data sets to find new treatments, improve diagnoses, drive down costs and improve health outcomes.

Every day, Australians are generating enormous quantities of health data: about their medical appointments, the medicines they take, their scans and tests and even their physical activity.

Linking these records across the entire community would be a valuable resource for medical researchers, service providers and policy makers. New medicines, devices and services could be better supported by 'real world evidence' of safety, effectiveness and value – helping to sustain investment in innovation and improved health outcomes.

The technical and legislative barriers, and the community’s expectation that privacy will be safeguarded, mean that reforms must be carefully considered and well-implemented.

Allens is delighted to have contributed to this eHealth report in collaboration with the McKell Institute. The report aims to explore the opportunities, challenges and stakeholder expectations to map out a path forward.

Download the report