Coverage & Commentary

Health data alone doesn’t account for much. We need better ways to extract its value

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then there’s lunacy in the health care industry when it comes to health data and misperceptions about what it is — and is not — delivering. The continual stream of claims about data as the path to transcendence are set against rigid restrictions on its access and use that are not going to change. The constants of patient confidentiality, regulatory compliance, and proprietary instinct cannot be detached from health data.

We launch shiny new facsimiles of data systems one after the other, insisting with each iteration that this time the magic of data can and will solve all our problems. Then it doesn’t.