Data can make the production of products and services more efficient and provide tools for combating societal challenges. However, this potential is not yet being fully realised. For data to truly capitalise on its complete potential, more data should be available that is easy to be re-used and shared with confidence. But, low trust, issues regarding the re-use of public sector data, and technical obstacles stand in the way of EU-wide data sharing. To curtail this, the Data Governance Act (DGA) acts as a cross-sectoral instrument that aims to make more data available by regulating the re-use of public sector data and encouraging data sharing to be used for altruistic purposes. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into the picture to safeguard both personal and non-personal data and additionally helps make more data available and increase trust in its re-use.
How can the re-use of data advance healthcare?
In healthcare, data can help provide better personalised treatment and help in curing rare and chronic diseases. The DGA provides rules to safeguard this re-use of data without the data being compromised. For example, the French company DAMAE Medical is aiming to improve the capacity of one of its technologies LC-OCT (Line Field Confocal Optical Coherence Tomography) to identify the potential signs of skin cancer and circumscribe the area of surgical invention better. This technology gives access to cellular resolution imaging up to the inner microstructures of the skin and this can be achieved immediately with the new training data available through the French Health Data Hub. This changes the entire dynamics of the way skin cancer has been treated until now.