Big Data and Health: Opportunities and Challenges

Wednesday, 7th of May – From 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm
At Idescat – Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya
Via Laietana, 58 — 08003 Barcelona
Session in English


Lorenzo Sabatelli, Principal Scientist and Director, GLOBMOD

Short Talks:
Julianna Ribera, CSDM Innovation Projects
Toni Gabaldón, Icrea Professor, and Group Leader of Comparative Genomics at the CRG.
Oriol Rayo, Regional Territory Manager, EMC-Isilon
Lorenzo Sabatelli, Principal Scientist and Director, GLOBMOD

Open Debate.

Capture, storage, and processing of large sets of complex and mixed data on individual characteristics, preferences, behaviors, health conditions, and treatments are already beginning to change our understanding of health determinants, and healthcare outcomes. However, even greater are the expectations about the future.

Big data will make possible monitoring and comparison of any variable that may have an impact on health: from environmental pollution to gene-environment interaction. This can enable accurate measurement and evaluation of factors that increase the risk of disease and death, of what works and for whom in the healthcare sector, and of healthcare costs, and may lead to personalized treatments, to a better use of resources, and to more efficient research and development activities ultimately resulting in the production of health technologies and programs that are not only effective but also affordable.

Nevertheless, for this to be possible a number of challenges must be overcome in relation to: extraction of information from data, which needs to leverage the full potential of data while also addressing quality issues; ownership of data and of information; and protection of individual rights, which implies protecting data from potential misuse.

We will discuss opportunities and challenges associated with big data, and how global changes in health information technology are likely to affect health protection and healthcare provision at the local level.

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