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How is health data used?

There is a growing interest from governments around the world and institutions in both the public and private spheres, to access and use health data. Outside of traditional healthcare settings, the data might be used by companies to target particular products towards individuals, or in the case of insurance companies, to evaluate risk. International research consortiums collect and share data for different purposes across geographical borders, and research platforms allow these to be accessed by researchers across the globe.

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These aggregated datasets hold an immense wealth of information and can be used for a range of purposes that could benefit society as a whole, including the development of safer and more reliable medicines that are individually targeted to the patient, and increased understanding of the factors that influence population health.