Minerva

Problems with care.data and other stories . . .

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4613 (Published 02 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4613

The NHS is potentially among the world’s richest sources of data about the outcomes of individuals within a population. But when NHS England launched care.data in 2013, this overambitious plan to link social care and health data rapidly encountered a series of disasters. A new study (Technology Science 2015, http://techscience.org/a/2015081103) concludes that the current care.data programme is “highly problematic in its flawed protection of patient anonymity, an unsuitable opt-out system, unclear criteria for accessing the collected health data, and the risk it poses to the trust between patients and general practitioners.” This is an immense lost opportunity, and it means that England still cannot match the population databases of the Scandinavian countries and Taiwan.

The introduction of cardiac troponin assays about 15 years ago greatly increased the number of patients diagnosed with non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). At the same time, better detection of muscle damage led to fewer people in …

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