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Patient-generated health data

PGHD can help us understand how to better treat diseases

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person visits have been limited, which has complicated the communication between patients and healthcare providers. To overcome these challenges, medical staff use various channels to stay in touch with the patients, report patient outcomes, and share information at the same time. The use of technology in combination with a shift towards patient-centricity in healthcare has resulted in an opportunity to create patient-generated health data (PGHD).

PGHD is generated by the patients themselves and can be created from active and passive data sources. Active sources provide direct information obtained for example through surveys. Passive sources use information obtained via smart devices or health apps. Knowing more about the background and indirect healthcare-related information helps to minimise uncertainty, unavailable data, and unreliable patient cohorts. PGHD contributes to a holistic view of outcomes to treatments allowing drawing substantiated conclusions.

There are several challenges to PGHD. One is that, to provide and share active and passive data, analytical tools are needed, as well as adjustments to existing workflows and compliance rules. Secondly, not every treatment plan will align with PGHD due to procedures in different hospitals and countries. This means that the efficiency of the existing workflow can be negatively affected. Thirdly, the quality of data needs to be guaranteed and standardised. This is of great importance and further complicated by the need for data security and privacy compliance when collecting and combining data from different levels and sources.

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