Smart Data UK Enabling innovation in products and services

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Smart Data is philosophically very similar to Citizen Centricity, the idea that by giving individuals greater ownership and control of their data it can be liberated to unlock new innovations and value.

In it’s purest form, Smart Data would equip individuals with a copy their data which they can then use as they see fit> However, it has also be interpreted as providing greater agency by giving the individual the means to link or share their data between organizations and services, similar to open banking. While a step in the direction, the latter marginalizes the potential opportunities of true Smart Data as data remains siloed and more challenging to link for innovators.

Perhaps the the real challenge with enabling true smart data is the lack of established personal data providers able to connect data to their data and importantly then to reuse it. While big players such as Google and Microsoft had some limited successes with Google Health Space and HealthVault, ultimately these products failed to reach scale and were deprecated. Innovators such as MIDATA, CozyCloud, and others like them in the data operator space have had limited successes but have yet to achieve scale.

Accelerating access to data is a win win for citizens wanting to get more from their data and organizations wanting to enhance their offerings :

  • accelerate existing products and services in new and existing markets
  • add features to existing products and services to broaden value and appeal,
  • enables innovative new products and services, some of which were not possible previously due to siloed data and issues of privacy and consent.

With the personal data economy estimated at $1 trillion or more annual, there is enormous potential for the right products and services that deliver on the promise of Smart Data, in particular in health and healthcare where there is already great unmet need.

UK National Data Strategy (NDS)

The UK is seeking to be a world-leading data economy, underpinned by a trusted data ecosystem, utilized and trusted by citizens, business and organizations alike, Key to this is empowering citizens and building trust. The volume of Citizen data growing and diversifying, with the potential to bring great benefits to citizens themselves as well as enabling innovation and technology.

In unlocking data and enabling it to flow the NDS aims to catalyze the economy.

Compared to many other countries, the data protection landscape in the UK has a long-standing tradition of prioritizing individual rights and privacy. This commitment was further solidified with the introduction of the Data Protection Act 1998, which aimed to regulate the processing of personal data and provided individuals with certain rights regarding the use of their information.

In response to evolving technological advancements and a need for more robust regulations, the UK updated its data protection framework in alignment with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Implemented in 2018, GDPR brought about a number of changes, enhancing the protection of individuals’ privacy rights and imposing stricter obligations on organizations handling personal data.

The act enshrines the individuals right to an electronic copy of their data and a right to data portability, but fell short of requiring open APIs to enable the free flow of data. The next update is anticipated to the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill which is currently going through parliament. The new bill is not a departure from the GDPR aligned Data Protection Act 2018, but in many cases clarifying or realigning.

Funding Opportunities

Given the government appetite to expand the UK data economy and unmet need in health, there exists a great deal of investment and grants in this area. Notably the UKRI

Example projects and experience

Over 20 years experience in and around health technology gained through various positions and projects, including 7 years in the NHS. Relevant examples include :

  • eRedbook PHR (Personal Child Health Record) with Microsoft on HealthVault
  • personal data platform
  • EU Horizon 2020 My Health My Data (MHMD) Biomedical Exchange
  • Working with pharma to explore the role of patient data in research
  • Supporting industry innovators with product development

Do you need support?

If you have a particular need within your team please feel free to reach out and discuss your requirements. Support can be provided in a number of areas including :

  • Shaping, strategy, plans and business development
  • Guidance and advice for project/product development
  • Input to bid development
  • Project / product delivery

Flexible arrangements to meet your specific needs. Choose from single-day(s), block draw down arrangements, or regular monthly commitment.

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