Patient data and data-driven technologies in healthcare

The Academy is currently undertaking a policy project to develop principles to guide the future use of technologies that use patient data (data-driven technologies) in healthcare. This was initiated through a series of dialogue workshops with patients, the public and healthcare professionals, which were followed by a wider policy workshop and stakeholder engagement.


There has been much public dialogue focusing on the current use of patient data, but less has been undertaken exploring how future data-driven technologies might impact on this.

Recent reports have investigated attitudes to the use of patient data for individual care, research and planning. However, less is known about patient and public perspectives on new and future technologies that will rely on patient data for their development or use. [1]

To address this, the Academy commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake a programme of dialogue workshops in February and March 2018 to explore public, patient, and healthcare professionals’ views about new and emerging data-driven technologies – that is, technologies that use patient data for health and social care. Following this, the Academy held a policy implications workshop with NHS representatives, regulators, funders, policy-makers and researchers, as well as pharmaceutical, medical technology, data and digital health companies, to discuss the implications of the findings of the dialogue workshops.

The dialogue programme and policy workshop are the foundation for the Academy’s policy project, which will set out principles to guide the future use of data-driven technologies in healthcare. This project is being led by a steering group comprising a multi-disciplinary panel of experts (see ‘steering group’ tab) and Chaired by Professor Carol Dezateux CBE FMedSci. It has also incorporated and aligned with relevant work being undertaken by other key stakeholders, and has involved extensive stakeholder engagement across the data and technology landscape in healthcare.

The policy report will be launched before the end of 2018 and will be available on this page. If you would like to find out more about the project or the report, please contact

[1] The Royal Society & British Academy (2017). Data governance:public engagement review.

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