China has announced its big idea for big data in healthcare--pledging an industrial scale of medical services by 2020 on a national platform "that fits national conditions."
Jin Xiaotao, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), discussed the ideas in broad terms at a policy briefing last week published on the State Council's website.
The scope of the program however was not detailed, similar to other grand plans in areas like precision medicine, which the journal Nature said earlier this year could see more than $9 billion in spending in the next 15 years. These tend to come with few official details, but companies such as Shanghai-based WuXi NextCODE are already ramping up.
Jin said the guidelines for big data were approved on June 8 at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang and said the broad outline would be on compiling detailed and uniform medical records.
"The big data platform for health and medical services involves a person’s basic health condition, medical service, disease control and prevention, food safety and healthcare, covering an individual’s whole life cycle," he said.
Like the precision data initiative, much is expected to come through collaboration with industry. Jin asked Zhang Feng, vice director of the Department of Planning and Information at the NHFPC, to provide some more details on how the big data will be gathered--suggesting companies, research institutions and industry will be at the forefront.
First, there are two key words in the document: One is “promote," and the other is “standardize,” Zhang said.
"Related market entities have fully participated in the drafting process of the document. It now seems that promoting the development of medical big data is mainly about the joint innovation of governments, enterprises, universities and research institutions."
- here's the release from the State Council