A recent report from Asthma UK has shown that nine in ten people (88%), living with asthma in England are in favour of sharing their health data to improve NHS services
A further 83% of participants are happy for their health data to be used to further asthma research.
In the report, Data Sharing and Technology: Exploring the attitudes of people with asthma, Asthma UK suggests that this willingness for people to share data, coupled with strides in asthma healthcare technology could herald a ‘golden opportunity’ for improving asthma care.
It is estimated that 5.4 million people in the UK live with asthma and the health data shared, could also drive research to give a better understanding of asthma, leading to improved treatments and services.
The health data could be used to identify which patients are at a high risk of having an asthma attack to help healthcare professionals prioritise their resources. It could also be used to inform the development of new services and technology to help people better manage their condition.
In addition, the data could also be applied to other conditions to help even more people around the world.
Kay Boycott, Chief Executive at Asthma UK, says:
“It is really encouraging that the majority of people with asthma understand how sharing their data can help to improve their own care, NHS services and further research.
“If used with appropriate safeguards, data when coupled with advances in health technology, presents an exciting opportunity for improved asthma research and care, offering the hope of better treatment or a cure for the 5.4million people in the UK with the condition.
“There have been strides to better support people with asthma, such as smart inhalers, apps and devices powered by AI, but they can only be effective if the data from them is understood by a patient’s healthcare professional – or is anonymised and used to assess general asthma trends.
“We are urging the NHS to implement new health technologies that will benefit people with asthma and deliver more personalised care. We are also calling for the NHS to ensure data is used and shared to drive improvements in services and advancements in asthma research, and we want a continued and informed public dialogue about the benefits of data sharing.”
The charity is calling for the NHS to implement new health technologies that will benefit people with asthma and deliver more personalised care.