Digital Europe Programme explained: the health data space

16.12.2021

As part of the Digital Europe Programme, the European Commission aims to set up common European Data Spaces. These data spaces will each have a specific sectoral focus. In a series of news pieces, we will showcase each of those sectoral data spaces. In this article, we dive into the health data space.

In general, the data spaces will connect currently fragmented and dispersed data from various ecosystems, from the private and public sectors. They will offer an interoperable, trusted IT environment for data processing, and a set of rules of legislative, administrative, and contractual nature that determine the rights of access to and processing of the data.

The health data space focuses on two actions, one for genomic data, the other for cancer images data. Together, these actions will support faster clinical decision-making and improved diagnostics, treatments, and predictive medicine. Both actions shall deliver:

  • Deployment of an interoperable, FAIR-compliant, and secure-federated infrastructure and data governance to enable sustainable cross-border linkage of data sets in compliance with the relevant legal, ethical, quality, and interoperability requirements and agreed standards;
  • A platform that enables the application of appropriate high-end computing, AI, and simulation resources to analyse and clinically validate the data, and a secure authentication system;
  • Support for the establishment or upgrade of the necessary local infrastructure and the creation, extension, and adaptation of datasets and data sources; and
  • A business model including an uptake strategy explaining the motivation and incentives for all stakeholders at the different levels (national, European, global) to support the data infrastructure towards its sustainability, including data controllers (biobanks, hospitals/municipalities, research institutes, patients), data-users (clinicians, researchers, policymakers, companies), service providers (e.g. IT industry, biotech industry), healthcare systems and public authorities.

The action for genomics data additionally requests coordination support for the multi-country project Genome of Europe, and a comprehensive communication strategy.

Curious to learn more? Access the Digital Europe Programme.

Stay tuned for the next news piece on the data space for media.

Digital Europe Programme explained: the health data space
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