57% of UK public are comfortable sharing health data to help develop new treatments or vaccines, reveals poll

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13th August 2020 17:10 - Health

57% of UK public are comfortable sharing health data to help develop new treatments or vaccines: The majority of people polled in a health data survey are 'comfortable' or 'very comfortable' with sharing their personal health data with organisations for the purpose of developing new treatments or vaccines.

This was the second highest reason given for being comfortable sharing data, after 'improving NHS structures and services' (59%). When it comes to sharing health data for clinical research, 54% said they feel comfortable, followed by developing digital tools and apps for patient support (48%) and informing the government's lockdown strategy (44%).

The research by MHP Health polled more than 2,000 members of the public asking respondents about their comfort levels in sharing personal health data, as well as asking if their opinions have changed since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

When asked about the organisations people were most comfortable sharing information with since the outbreak of COVID-19, NHS bodies ranked top, with 60% of those polled saying they would feel comfortable sharing their health data. This was followed by pharma companies (41%) diagnostic companies (41%), the Government (39%), academic institutions (36%), health tech startups (32%), charities (29%) and big technology companies (25%). 

When asked if their opinion has changed regarding willingness to share health data since the outbreak of COVID-19, a third of respondents (33%) said they feel more comfortable now sharing with NHS bodies than they did pre-covid, while 26% said they now feel more comfortable sharing with pharmaceutical companies, and a similar percentage with diagnostic companies (25%).

Almost a quarter (24%) said they were more comfortable sharing with the Government than they were pre-COVID, while a similar percentage were more comfortable sharing with  academic institutions (23%) and technology startups (21%). Just a fifth said they feel more comfortable sharing health data with charities (20%), while 19% said they were more comfortable sharing with big tech companies since the pandemic began.



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