The creation of a blueprint for the use of open data in healthcare was the driving force behind a recent collaboration between researchers at New York University's GovLab and England's National Health Service.
In a report developed as part of the partnership, "The Open Data Era in Health and Social Care," researchers said that while there is currently "widespread recognition" of open data's possibilities, the overall healthcare industry remains in the adolescent stages of understanding the best ways to take advantage of such resources..
"Policymaking is often easier than policy implementation: it is one thing to say what should be done, and quite another to know how to do it," the researchers said in the report.
The guide aims to help the healthcare industry get the most from sharing open data by helping to set priorities and ways to measure benefits. Evidence, the researchers noted, is vital. The blueprint presents a framework for developing evidence-based programs to guide investment and research, according to an announcement.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services signed an agreement with the National Health Service to share health IT information and tools with one another. Part of that agreement focuses on effectively using open data, as well as security and transparency issues.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week launched its openFDA initiative by releasing data on drug adverse events. The initiative aims to appeal to software developers who can devise ways to make the data more useful to researchers and the public.