Developing a Value Framework for Medical Imaging Data

13th April 2021

Prior to the public health emergency announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in January 2020, there was growing awareness of the potential for clinical, economic development and commercial value to flow from healthcare data controlled by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). As a result, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published a Code of Conduct for Data-driven Health and Care Technology and an addendum detailing commercial principles that were designed to create the right framework to realise the benefits of healthcare data. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), meanwhile, invested £50m in five centres for digital pathology, radiology, integrated diagnostics, AI and machine learning, and a further £35.5m in Digital Innovation Hubs led by Health Data Research UK (HDR-UK) which now function as centres of excellence with expertise and tools to maximise the insights and innovations developed using healthcare data.

Future Care Capital (FCC) has written extensively about information sharing and data institutions in health and care, the value of healthcare data and the scope for it to stimulate economic development. It has also contributed to research conducted by Reform about the use of NHS controlled data by corporate entities and work undertaken by Imperial College London exploring the importance of patient involvement in the use of healthcare data. It is against this backdrop that the National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI) – one of the five centres funded by Innovate UK through the ‘Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine’ challenge – approached FCC in Autumn 2019 to explore the scope to develop a value framework for medical imaging data.

Eighteen – unprecedented – months have passed and the importance of data is, perhaps, more widely recognised now than ever before as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers and commissioners in health and care, front-line professionals, researchers and corporate entities are all operating in an increasingly ‘data intensive’ environment.

This report details the approach taken by FCC to scoping a value framework for medical imaging data given the context outlined above and our findings.

Key findings from the report:

  1. The legal framework governing the UK’s healthcare ecosystem offers little to guide the development of multi-stakeholder agreements that are underpinned by medical imaging data sourced from a number of data controllers in the development of AI – as distinct from more conventional, bilateral ‘data deals’.
  2. There is a significant gap in recommendations outlining how striking a ‘fair deal’ between NHS organisations and third parties that seek to collaborate on health data can be achieved in practice.
  3. Perceptions of fairness in medical imaging data deals are influenced by the perceived quality of the data; implications of withholding data from other parties; and the ultimate benefit to patients.
  • Developing a Value Framework for Medical Imaging Data - NCIMI Report (April 2021)
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