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Israel Launched Big Data Health Project

Israel Launched Big Data Health Project

Israel would invest US$287 million in this project to make data about the state of health of its population available to researchers and private companies.

Digital health records are valuable. Big data analytics, which will compare information provided by large numbers of patients, give drug makers indications of how medicines perform in the real world.

Evidence involves collecting data outside traditional randomized clinical trials, the current standard for judging medicines, and interest in the field is ballooning.

Israel is in a good position to provide the data because all of its nearly nine million citizens belong to one of four health maintenance organizations who keep members’ records digitally, thus comprising a huge medical database.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that it is a major asset and they want to make it accessible to researchers and developers in order to achieve two things – one is preventive medicine and second is personal medicine.

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, an expert on technology and the law at the Israel Democracy Institute, said that the plan will violated Israel’s basic Law on human dignity and the right to privacy.

The fact is that if someone is passing on identifying data about them is dangerous, even if they agreed to it, they are preoccupied with the benefits that will emerge from the plan, but on the other side there is a constitutional right that is being violated, so this is a measure that should be approved through legislation.