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How to re-use medical data to improve patient care

No-one will argue that healthcare is at the core of our society. The importance of high-quality healthcare is growing rapidly as new viruses and diseases develop. We must keep looking for ways to continuously improve healthcare. One of those solutions? Data sharing.

Care providers and researchers require medical data in order to provide high-quality services and novel solutions to patients. To achieve this, platforms and apps that are used by patients, care providers and researchers should be interoperable, preferably in a patient-centric way. When medical data can flow between patients, care providers, platforms and apps, magic happens… And patient care improves.

One way of sharing this data is using Solid. 

What is Solid?

Solid is the new standard for data sharing. It’s a W3C specification that standardises data exchanges with a decentralised architecture. It defines how people and organisations store data in pods and how they are identified by using their WebID. It can be used to create personal data spaces and data vaults, and it works well with other standards like FHIR, SNOMED and LOINC. 

How Solid can be implemented in Healthcare

Today, Solid is starting to be used in healthcare by the WeAre ecosystem, Belgian hospitals, the NHS and various start-ups. The possibilities are endless. Some of the use cases we see today are the following:

  • It allows patient-generated data from wearables or apps to be used by caregivers;
  • It allows patients to share centralised health data with caregivers or 3rd parties who don’t have access yet;
  • It allows for more and more efficient data re-use among caregivers.

The benefits of Solid in Healthcare

Sharing health data between patients, caregivers, platforms and apps has a lot of advantages. It allows for better healthcare, more innovation, less additional or duplicate testing and, in general, more and better insights into the patient’s health. Moreover, the patient always stays in control of the data that is shared.

About Solid and FHIR

FHIR is an interoperability standard for the electronic exchange of healthcare information and focuses on standardising data models. Solid and FHIR can be combined to provide a more interoperable and decentralised approach to healthcare data management. 

While Solid focuses on providing users with more control over their personal data and sharing data, FHIR is a set of standards for a common understanding of healthcare information. Combining these technologies can enable patients to control their own data and easily share it with trusted providers, while still being able to access a complete picture of a patient's health data.

About Solid and EHDS

The European Health Data Space is a new regulation part of the European Data Act (EDA). Their goal is to improve the quality of healthcare, drive innovation and growth and strengthen the protection of personal data. They provide a framework for the exchange of data and an equal playing field between actors. The EDA and EHDS remove barriers to use data across the European community. This way, they enforce interoperability and portability of data.

Solid is the perfect answer to this mission as it completely fits the requirements. It can serve as the first step for organisations to become compliant with the EHDS.

Is healthcare a good use case for Solid?

The use of Solid in healthcare has the potential to revolutionise the way we manage, share, and use patient data. By giving patients control over their personal information and improving data privacy and security, Solid can lead to better patient outcomes, more efficient clinical trials and research and the overall advancement of personalised medicine.

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and adopt new technology, Solid will play a crucial role in shaping the future of healthcare. Let’s embrace this exciting new world and leverage the power of Solid to improve the lives of patients everywhere.

Read more on Solid and Health here