National health data system created in France

    In April 2017, France launched the national health data system, combining patient health data from various sources (“  Système national des données de santé  ” - SNDS).

    The system is unique in Europe. It combines existing databases of insurance companies, hospitals, death information and disability information. These combined data are intended to be used for medical research based on big data and for ongoing diseases.

    System Content. The system includes data on gender, date of birth, place of residence, occupational diseases and chronic diseases (if any), data from insurance companies (both in the compulsory medical insurance system and voluntary), prescription drugs, test results and dates pregnancy, information about cases of hospitalization and seeking emergency medical care, sick leave, disability and the funds provided in connection with it, information about the death of patients. The full name in the system is encoded, it is impossible to directly obtain information about the name, address and social security number of the patient from the system. The results of studies conducted on the basis of big data from the system cannot be correlated with a specific person in the system. In addition, the system contains information about medical workers and medical services.

    Access to the system . Access to the system is provided by public health services and institutions. Other authorities and organizations may obtain targeted access to anonymized data with the permission of the French Internet Regulator (CNIL) in order to conduct research that is in the public interest.

    Any person may declare his opposition to the use of his data for research purposes, except in some cases, for example, in epidemics or sanitary control.

    System security . The security of the system is provided by the controller (CNIL) in accordance with the requirements of the French legislation on the protection of personal data and special categories of data, such as medical data.

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