A new report has suggested that eight out of ten people with asthma in England are in favour of sharing their data in order to improve NHS services.
The ‘Data Sharing and Technology: Exploring the attitudes of people with asthma’ report, which was put together by Asthma UK, revealed that of the 3000 people who took part in the survey, 83% felt comfortable to share their information for research purposes.
A further 88% said they would be happy to use a ‘smart’ inhaler, a device linked to a smartphone that can detect someone’s inhaler use in real-time and transmits data, if it was available on the NHS.
Asthma UK is now calling for the NHS to implement new health technologies that will benefit people with asthma and deliver more personalised care.
It is also urging the NHS to ensure data is used and shared to drive improvements in services and advancements in asthma research.
Kay Boycott, who is CEO at the charity, said the research was “encouraging”.
She added: “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.”
Asthma UK said 3054 people completed the survey, which ran online between February and March 2018.
In a separate story, Digital Health News reported in April 2018 that a House of Lords select committee had called on NHS England to urgently develop a consistent and rigorous approach to data sharing agreements, so as to put the NHS in a position to tap the value of AI initiatives in healthcare.