Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Thursday, June 30, 2022

British Pharmaceutical Industry Maps Its Way to Big Data 

Thanks to issues ranging from proprietary data silos to patient privacy concerns, imbuing the healthcare industry with a knowledge gained from a country’s worth of patient medical history via a single organization is out of the question. But the first step to overcoming a problem is admitting it, which is what has led the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) to call for a cross-sector effort to bring big data to healthcare.

The plan was announced at ABPI’s annual research and development conference last week, “360 Degrees of Health Data: Harnessing Big Data for Better Health,” hosted in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research, which brought together healthcare delegates from industry, academia, as well as pharmaceutical research.

As a part of the four-point plan, ABPI has also drawn a road map that it hopes will guide industry progress over the next four years.

The four areas are comprised of increasing awareness, building capacity, developing sustainable data ecosystems, and accelerating opportunities with high value.

“The ABPI is a proud partner to the research community in the UK,” says Bina Rawal, Medical, Innovation and Research Director for ABPI. “One way we can make the UX a more attractive environment is to fully harness the unique ‘big data’ opportunities available in the UK.”

According to Rawal, that goal relies on a shift in focus from data volume to data value—a message that many analytics companies are already trying to coin for themselves.

“The ‘big data’ road map is a starting point to build the UK’s potential for world-class data-led research and innovation-driven healthcare delivery.”

But along with the starting point and steps the industry must take along the way, the map also shows the end goals: future possibilities for life sciences and healthcare that big data can enable, ranging from drug discovery to personalized healthcare.

“No one organisation or sector can address these opportunities alone,” she says. “If we are going to leverage ‘big data’ for the benefits of patients, the industry, academia and the wider healthcare system, we must develop new collaborations and partnerships to tackle the challenges together.”

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