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It has been an extraordinary year for us all. The COVID-19 response has demonstrated that having access to health data for vital research is crucial in helping discover treatments that save lives; however, memories fade and there is a risk that this message becomes diluted. If this does occur, this could make it more challenging for researchers to access health data for life-saving research, and could also result in large groups of people not being represented – for example: if they choose to opt out.

Recent articles published on health data poverty demonstrate the harm that limited health data access has on people’s lives. There are also numerous case studies that exhibit the remarkable research discoveries that have occurred as a result of access to health data.

Together, we need to ensure that the speed of discovery, which we have seen powered by data throughout the pandemic, continues for those living with other diseases – from dementia to cancer. Everyone should benefit from these discoveries!

This is a call to action for all who care about evidence-based discoveries that help to save lives – “#DataSavesLives – We all need to be represented!”

Please share this and further examples of health data driven discoveries via social media, in conversations with your friends and work colleagues, and across the community as a whole.

Every day throughout June, HDR UK will share and celebrate a different discovery via Twitter and LinkedIn, which has occurred as a result of access to health data.