Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Sharing Is Caring – Data Sharing Initiatives in Healthcare

Version 1 : Received: 7 March 2020 / Approved: 8 March 2020 / Online: 8 March 2020 (16:46:20 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Hulsen, T. Sharing Is Caring—Data Sharing Initiatives in Healthcare. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3046. Hulsen, T. Sharing Is Caring—Data Sharing Initiatives in Healthcare. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3046.


In recent years, more and more health data are being generated. These data come not only from professional health systems, but also from wearable devices. All these data combined form ‘big data’ that can be utilized to optimize treatments for each unique patient (‘precision medicine’). To achieve this precision medicine, it is necessary that hospitals, academia and industry work together to bridge the ‘valley of death’ of translational medicine. However, hospitals and academia often have problems with sharing their data, even though the patient is actually the owner of his/her own health data, and the sharing of data is associated with increased citation rate. Academic hospitals usually invest a lot of time in setting up clinical trials and collecting data, and want to be the first ones to publish papers on this data. The idea that society benefits the most if the patient’s data are shared as soon as possible so that other researchers can work with it, has not taken root yet. There are some publicly available datasets, but these are usually only shared after studies are finished and/or publications have been written based on the data, which means a severe delay of months or even years before others can use the data for analysis. One solution is to incentivize the hospitals to share their data with (other) academic institutes and the industry. Here we discuss several aspects of data sharing in the medical domain: publisher requirements, data ownership, support for data sharing, data sharing initiatives and how the use of federated data might be a solution. We also discuss some potential future developments around data sharing.


data sharing; data management; data science; big data; healthcare


Medicine and Pharmacology, Other

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