Data for Individual Health

A woman uses a laptop computer for data.

A Learning Health System, emerging from and drawing on health data, will connect medical systems with broader societal inputs, creating important links between health and wellness and health care.

The Issue:
Information technology is rapidly expanding the field of data, especially as it pertains to health and healthcare. In the past, the federal government’s information technology efforts in health data concentrated on developing health data infrastructure focused on the medial care of individuals. This report discusses how to move beyond that vision to focus on the health of individuals and the development of a Learning Health System.

Key Findings

  • The health data infrastructure currently does not have the capability to make all health data accessible in usable form, yet demand for usability in health and wellness, as well as in innovation of accurate, personalized healthcare, is growing. 

  • A Learning Health System will connect medical systems with broader societal inputs, creating important links between health and wellness and health care. 

  • This system includes electronic health records (EHRs) and personal health records (PHR), but also points to a larger level of data access, integration, and scalability. 

Conclusion:
There is broad agreement found in past reports regarding health information. This reports urges HHS to take the lead in harmonizing the recommendations and promoting paths forward to integrate a Learning Healthy System.

About the Study:
This JASON reports from the MITRE Corporation was prepared for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as a follow up to their first study, “A Robust Health Data Infrastructure” released in April 2014.

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