Potentials and Challenges of the Health Data Cooperative Model

I. Van Roessel*, M. Reumann, A. Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: Currently, abundances of highly relevant health data are locked up in data silos due to decentralized storage and data protection laws. The health data cooperative (HDC) model is established to make this valuable data available for societal purposes. The aim of this study is to analyse the HDC model and its potentials and challenges. Results: An HDC is a health data bank. The HDC model has as core principles a cooperative approach, citizen-centredness, not-for-profit structure, data enquiry procedure, worldwide accessibility, cloud computing data storage, open source, and transparency about governance policy. HDC members have access to the HDC platform, which consists of the "core," the "app store," and the "big data." This, respectively, enables the users to collect, store, manage, and share health information, to analyse personal health data, and to conduct big data analytics. Identified potentials of the HDC model are digitization of healthcare information, citizen empowerment, knowledge benefit, patient empowerment, cloud computing data storage, and reduction in healthcare expenses. Nevertheless, there are also challenges linked with this approach, including privacy and data security, citizens' restraint, disclosure of clinical results, big data, and commercial interest. Limitations and Outlook: The results of this article are not generalizable because multiple studies with a limited number of study participants are included. Therefore, it is recommended to undertake further elaborate research on these topics among larger and various groups of individuals. Additionally, more pilots on the HDC model are required before it can be fully implemented. Moreover, when the HDC model becomes operational, further research on its performances should be undertaken. (c) 2018 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-331
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Genomics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017

JEL classifications

  • i11 - Analysis of Health Care Markets
  • i18 - "Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health"
  • c81 - "Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access"
  • c80 - "Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs: General"


  • Health data cooperative
  • Big data
  • Electronic patient record
  • Mobile health apps
  • P4 medicine


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